Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Cultes Des Ghoules : Henbane

This Polish black metal band formed in 2004 so they have had almost a decade to refine their cvltishly unpolished sound, which despite its roughed edges hooks you in and grows on you over time. the Attila like vocals groan and croak their way into your dark heart. " Idylls of the Chosen Damned" has subtle hooks and murky punches that make the 11 minutes breeze by. Its one of those albums I can just let play on repeat over and over, it part due to the drone that creeps in. The riff at the five and a half minute mark really kills it and they don't over do it with the 24-7blast beats instead they are employed in bursts. The rough production isn't quite they Necro sound though it does give the overall feel of mid period Mayhem or Darkthrone so Cvlt enough in the right places.

the songs are sewn together with varied horror movie samples " the Passion of a Sorceress" has more of an old school Celtic Frost lumber to it. Another ten minute drone opus, dramatic dialogue floats in on top, in a why reminding me of La Sexcisto, sorry if a White Zombie reference isnt cult enough but i think the effect is the same and if you think back that was a fun album in its day. The bass being discernible contributes to giving it a more retro almost Venom sound at times, and the vocal delivery reminds me of Cronos as well in places. The double bass builds up to a Slayer like fury two and a half minutes in. The drummer more than gets the job done through out this album and is one of the stronger elements of this unit, some of his cymbal work is a little on the Iron Maiden side but no complaints there. There is a lot of groove to this album , the riffs come together into it with a natural flow out of the more frantic paced builds. There are some weird maybe keyboard layers that float around behind the howling before the single note guitar section in the last four minutes. I like the fact I'm always notching little nuances with each listen.

" Vintage Black Majick" ambles with clean guitar and explodes out into a dramatic drum entrance, with keyboards bridging the feel to transition against a tremolo picked section that floats in on a cloud of re verb. Dynamically this is the strongest song as there is the simmering clean guitar which is croaked over and then the more Merciful Fate feeling power chord section where the chanted clean spoken part comes in, with spaghetti western undertones underlying the space left in the verses. Six minutes in before the song build its sounds like King Diamond is having a mental breakdown and the Nazis are creeping into take over as it darkens into something that I had to see if I hit my iPod and it switched over to Laibach or a heavy Pyschic Tv song I had some how missed out on. The lyrics are Satan gibberish, which I'm all in favor of I just catch a lyric here and there so probably just need to sit down with them in front of me, because even with all the theatrics in presentation they might be serious and the pageantry is part of a sonic ritual.

"festival of Devotion" starts off with a crunch That picks up where the previous song left off instead of the sample interlude they seem to favor. It feels a little Darkthrone's mid period transition into black n roll. After the opening groove have noticed become more blast heavy and defaulting into the more a typical black metal sound. The really like the punches in the riff at the three and a half minute mark which has a solid groove to it, at one point it reminded me of "Total Funeral" by Watain.

The closing "The Devil Intimate" opens with delicate guitar in the first minute before launching I to the more Bathory like riff. Where the last Darkthrone album took winks at the camera with the more vintage black etal stylings they are more integrated here but not hidden. it descends into a dirge like rumble that build back up into a midpaced shuffle. Here they don't let the riff drag and there are more dynamic peaks and valleys similar the approach of The vintage black magic song just a heavier delivery from the guitars and more doomy trappings. The guitars don't reinvent the wheel and revisit rather straightforward terriroth at time, but they are good at establishing groove amd sometimes happen on intresting sounds, I think the elements work stronger as a whole In their regard.

Overall this is an album I can just leave on, I think the more scrutiny in which it is placed, it hold up but the rough edge appear rougher, primarily in regards to the guitar and how some of the riff can be allowed to drag on. They are long epic pieces and sometimes more justifying of their length than others. But on some level every song has something that peaks my Intrest as the ore experimental elements wane songs like Vintage black Majick balance the album out as a whole so I'll anticipate this one growing on me and give it an 8.5 for now and see how it holds up by time , if I'm still listening to it by the end of the year then we will round it up to a nine the places where it drags could dampen my now fanatical listening.

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