Sunday, November 6, 2016
Cultes Des Ghoules : "Coven"
When this Polish band breaks away from the pageantry and gets into the metal their take on black metal seems to come from more of a Venom school of thought, raw and hammering rather than relying on blast beats. The mammoth opener that clocks in at 22 minutes finds riffs weaving around the combative bass lines in a way that makes me think of what Edgar Winter's "Frankenstein" might sound like if it was covered by a black metal band. The vocals are declarative snarls that offer maddened proclamations. At a more efficient 11 minutes the second song "Mischief, Mischief..." comes across as heavier and more effective in it's focused attack. The vocals have a more demonic rasp to them here and the guitars feel beefed up since the first song. It builds into more of an almost thrashing Celtic Frost take on black metal.
Then comes another twenty minute song with "Strange Day" . The pipe organs that open song give way to a doomy riff that they hang on for a few minutes and slowly begin modulating out of it until dropping down to bass and drums. The vocals take on a more sinister whisper. This eventually builds into more of a Celtic Frost like stomp, though with a darker doomy shadow to it . In a manner fitting of the songs title, the pace changes to a more furious clamor on "Storm is Coming". This recalls the second wave of black metal by having a raw Darkthrone like attack, though they do not drone on when they do hit the blast beats. Three minutes into this one and I am unsure if they can drag this more straightforward approach on for another eight minutes. They break it down into a more Motorhead like racing after a break where the bass line carries the momentum. The riffs wander out into a more winding path, but dynamically this one doesn't make any major shifts in gears.
The second disc of this double album is all one song. The 28 minute " Satan, Father, Savior, Hear my Prayer" is overly ambitious. Really one song that is the same length as "Reign In Blood" is getting towards being pompous. Three minutes in the actual song is underway. It's pretty straight forward in the vein of say old more punk leaning Bathory. There is a slight proggy element to the more jammed out section surround what was a guitar solo of some kind. Until the nine and a half minute mark no major changes occur and even then it drifts out into a collision of hellish noise. The vocals begin to sound more like a bleating goat after this . Eighteen minutes in and slows to a more ritualistic pounding that could be a section from a Watain song. Eventually this gets redundant and you being to wonder why they thought dragging this out for so long would be a good idea. I'll round this down to an 8 there are some strong moments and what could have been good songs I would have listened to on a regular basis if some of the fat had been trimmed, going to prove you can have too much of a good thing. These guys are passionate about what they do and continue to grow in their unique sound so fans will get what they want they just better be more patient than I am.