If you say the words “blackened doom” to another metal head, CULTED is no doubt what they would imagine.
Review by David Feltman
I’ve written a lot recently about black metal mash-em-ups, mostly because there happen to be a lot of black metal mash-em-up bands in circulation all of a sudden. But whereas Valdur made a hapless mess of its black/death metal fusion and Indian’s fifth album is extremely enjoyable, but needlessly re-branded sludge metal, CULTED is the first band I’ve had the pleasure of hearing since Deafheaven that really stuck the landing.
If you say the words “blackened doom” to another metal head, CULTED is no doubt what they would imagine. The ambience of the instrumentals is pure doom: ominous, moderate tempo, generally apocalyptic. CULTED blackens up the mix by switching out the traditionally clean doom vocals of, say, St. Vitus or Trouble, with the coarse Cookie Monster vocals of Immortal, Mayhem or really any black metal band ever. But not needlessly or incompetently so. The band proficiently measures, mixes and melts the two genres together like a vegan black metal chef making nachos. The result is delicious.
CULTED takes the risk of putting all its eggs in one basket, making the first track, “Brooding Hex,” a mind-bendingly long 19 minutes. But the gambit pays off. Despite the crazy-long progressive run time, “Brooding Hex” is hypnotic and somehow doesn’t outstay its welcome. The track serves as a slow, simmering preparation to acclimate the audience to the band’s style and general tendency to take things slow and creepy. Whether you’re a fan of Sabbath or Venom, or hopefully both, CULTED will give you something to love.
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