Culted – Of Death And Ritual   Leave a comment

Out since March 30th  on Relapse Records, Of Death And Ritual is one nasty, nefarious release. This mini cd is a successor to their debut Beyond The Thunders Of The Upper Deep. As Ed did mention on his review of their debut, Culted isn’t for everyone, and I for one have my doubts about Culted. There’s nothing wrong with Culted musically: it’s evil, it’s slow and it pulls you down under quickly into their pest infested swamp of blackened sludge. I guess it’s too dark to be my cup of tea, and I will explain shortly what I mean by that. Yet, this does not mean I can’t take an objective view on Of Death And Ritual.

Musically I’d place Culted near EYEHATEGOD and Ramesses. I like the latter very much, but what goes for Culted goes for EYEHATEGOD too I think: it’s blacker than black and its sheer negativity gets the best of me. I remember picking up a copy of Take As Needed For Pain and thinking wow, this must be the shit. All in all I listened to the album maybe two times and decided this was definitely not for me. To this day, friends make fun of me because I once said that I do like bands like Om, Goatsnake and Dozer because they make life-affirming music. And I know this is a strange argument, because I love Burzum, Darkthrone and Mayhem as well. Nothing too positive or life-affirming in those acts I presume. But in the case of blackened doom like EYEHATEGOD and Culted, I can’t seem to get in the mood. The music doesn’t help either, because it’s bleak and it’s bitter and to me that seems like a certain musical statement. I remember reading a review on Exhumed’ Slaughtercult stating the release was that month’s anti-musical statement. To me, Culted delivers a likewise concept with Of Death And Ritual.

Lyrically, track number two gives you an inkling of what to expect musically:

“We the dead, walking
Light up, to endure
My blood stops flowing It all makes me sick
Last breath, last cough
Choke on your lies!
Black the blood of angel
Black the smoke of doom
Inhale, exhale
This curse your hearse
Cut deep, pile the dead.

The Omega rising
This nothing, this cancer
Hits hard, without mercy
We are the dead, the dead walking
I could have sworn you were drowning
Drowning in smoke I could have sworn you were dying
But you were already dead
We the dead, walking
Smoke up to endure
Cut deeper to bleed out
This, the curse, the doomsmoke ritual.”

I will not dive into certain connotations this text may or may not have, because in the end I think the music must and will speak for itself. But still, I can’t make no sense of it. If I would have to describe what Culted’s music does physically, it would be something like getting nauseous very slowly but very pervasively.

Dissent, track number 3, goes something like this:

“I’ll see you on the shores of the dead
One last stand, one last breath I stab right at the heart
Never to go gently into the night I’m here to inflict, here for conflict
Rebel angel, blood-black incarnate
Mirror soul of godlike bliss Your hands fall on dead soil

Cracking your whip once more
Here to conflict, here to inflict
All that’?s left is dead rain.”

The album closes with Whore, a Swans cover, a band I dig very much. I especially like Swans’ Holy Money and most of Jarboe’s work. Whore is a nice ending of Of Death And Ritual because of the way Culted incorporated somebody else’s work into their own musical paradigm. If you like anything blackened – be it doom metal, black metal or whatever – this release will most likely be your weapon of choice. Stylistically, conceptually and musically there is nothing wrong with Culted, quite the contrary, and whether you like this or not is a very personal matter – as it always is when we listen to music and voice our opinions about the things we hear. However, I chose to not gun down Of Death And Ritual solely on my own preferences.

Still, killer album!

8/10

Culted Myspace

Review Written By Sandrijn van den Oever

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Posted August 13, 2010 by doommantia in Culted

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