Saturday, September 15, 2018
Cultes Des Ghoules : "Sinister"
The fourth album from the Polish black metal band finds , an almost more Urfaust sound . The vocals are more sung in a resonate bellow on the first song , than howled or screamed manically. They continue to get darker , though perhaps no heavier. It all drones off of one central riff. There is more of a metallic chug to "Woods of Power". It does descend into more of a old Mayhem like take on black metal. It's pretty rough around the edges with a crazed honesty, yet sounds more like traditional black metal than I am used to hearing from these guys. The guitars utter out melodies that get a little buried in the din. "Day of Joy" has more determined and deliberate pound to the accents of it's attack. In some ways it comes across as a more musically fulfilling song. I think it follows more traditional metal rules while the crazed vocals are the coat of chaos to distract you from this fact.
The production is a double edged sword here. While I might benefit the songs to have taken more time in the process, the roughness does give it more black metal cred. So they can't win either way on it. I think some of these songs that clock in at over the ten minute mark could stand to have some fat trimmed in the compositions. "the Serenity of Nothing" starts off more angry and smooths out for the chant that is layered over it in what could be the first verse if you were going to attempt to hold these guys to song structure. The song does ebb back into something that reminds me of Alice Cooper's "Black Juju".
They pick up the pace to close the album with "Where the Rainbow Ends" which is the least black metal song title ever. But that is fine with me. It starts off pretty run of the mill black metal, so much so that I hope I don't have to go thru a full 12 minutes of it. Then it slows into more of a gallop. It is still very Mayhem, more so when the vocals try to sing more than snarl. The guitar unexpectedly drops out and things get interesting. They go off into something angular and proggy, proving they can really play before blasting back. Things ebb back down, so they are making an attempt to justify the 12 minute mark. I will give this album a 9, though I doubt it's something I will get many spins from. It's a mature effort on their part and finds a balance between making fans of true black metal happy as their grim souls can be, without getting stale and embracing experimentation.
This album is released Sept 23rd on Hells Headbangers.