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DEATHCULT
DEATHCULT
Cult Of The Goat
(Soulseller Records)
49:12min

DEATHCULT is a band that seems to be totally immersed in the concept of Norwegian Black Metal. The members are quite active in the scene, namely brothers Thurzur and Skagg, who also play in GAAHLSKAGG (with Gaahl of GORGOROTH fame) and bass player Hoest, all with curricula that include bands like TAAKE and GORGOROTH. A decade after their debut, here is the follow-up. Off the bat I was a bit surprised by the musicality present. On the one hand, yes, it's relatively simple music, with a somewhat raw production, not a palm-muted guitar to be heard, and pretty much what might be expected, generally speaking. Yet, there is no fuzzy, exaggerated distortion, every instrument can be distinctly heard (yep, including the bass) and the focus is not on aggression and speed and sounding as evil and horrid as possible, but rather on a mid-paced, frankly musically-oriented Black Metal. They still derive directly from the DARKTHRONE circa "Transilvanian Hunger" times as a trillion other bands do, but they sound, dare I say, a bit more jolly. I see this album as a bit of a mix; it's typical Norwegian Black Metal which ventures into other realms without ever losing its original identity. Usually they tread the mid-tempo pathways, and often resort to unexpected endeavors (what in Hell's name is that bizarre audio at the end of the first song?) that blend seamlessly, meaning, without any kind of shocking contrast. Listen to the experimental Doom mid-section in 'Ascension Rite', a song in which even violins later emerge from the musical fog, to good use, actually. DEATHCULT's music sounds simple and straight forward at first, but that is but a delusive superficial appearance. There are definitely many melodic elements that make an imprint on this album, like the clean sung parts backing some raspy Black Metal vocals, the unobtrusive epic keyboards leading to a female spoken satanic exit in French of the impressive 'Man Versus Beast', etc. There is some Heavy Metal lurking around a bit (not in the way of the current DARKTHRONE crusty version), and quite a bit of inspired variation that makes for an interesting album whose songs have much personality. To my liking, I discerned a bit of an old school Black Metal appeal here that is indeed a departure from the grim frostbitten cliché. Let’s take as an example the track 'Devilgoat', a ten minute opus: we have an intro with goats, surprising string extravaganzas, whispered vocals, atmospheric passages... even a girl enjoying the lascivious act of copulation. But always with finesse and taste. And it doesn't end there. There is a lot to dissect in the repeated listening of this album, and I feel positively surprised. The final track, 'Laudate Hircum' ("Praise The Goat" in Latin), culminates the crescendo of experimentalism, incorporating orchestral instruments to atmospheric ends, with a movie like background soundtrack and gloomy priestly chants. A good album, a good surprise! Get more info from www.facebook.com/deathcult-1871964126457651, www.soulsellerrecords.com

Ricardo Campos

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