For Fans Of
“We once were another band, and now we’re a better one.” – that’s a succinct introductory statement. Simple, precise and bold. To offer our own initial comment, Cult Leader might just be right in their assertions. The equation is straightforward: ¾ of Gaza now compromise new, Deathwish signed, beat down crew Cult Leader and the results are just as good, if not, better.
Debut album ‘Nothing For Us Here’ is familiar yet a different beast entirely. Anthony Lucero has moved away from the bass and now provides the dense vocals that underpin this release. Gaza fans won’t feel deterred but let’s put the comparisons aside, this is a new band just with pre-existing pieces.
It’s a typical path for the most part with all songs clocking in at well under three minutes until six-minute closer ‘Driftwood’.
This specific style of music is simply excelling at the moment. Nails are Nails! (enough said). All Pigs Must Die are equally impressive and Trap Them will destroy with upcoming ‘Blissfucker’. What it creates is an immediate audience for this release and also friendly competition to ensure no complacency from the band.
Essentially, opener ‘God’s Lonely Children’ doesn’t provide anything – just distorted noise and background refrains. It sets the mood though, before ‘Flightless Birds’ gets things properly set-up. Mid-paced and at equal times more flowing, Cult Leader like the deeper side of things.
‘Core’ kids will be put off by the lack of breakdowns. This isn’t a sing-a-long and extended chug fest. But hey, this was never intended to be that way. It’s much more detailed and articulate. In part moody, in part dark, there’s a certain drive behind the delivery.
‘Indoctrinator’s Deathbed’ is the moment everything coalesces. The competing approaches of the preceding tracks come together to reveal Cult Leader in its best form. It’s heavy and challenges the listener.
With this type of music it’s a badge of honour to make the listener feel uncomfortable. That’s not to suggest they are put offside or even to claim the music is elitist, rather, Cult Leader, like their clear influences, keep the listener engaged and interested. You don’t have it all figured out after song one. ‘Skincrawler’ is a mix of metal and hardcore, with the variety and versatility apparent.
There are still a few areas to iron out. As expected the execution is solid, but there are moments of inconsistency. Where some of the band’s peers revel from start to finish, there are periods that are a little misplaced.
Call it a re-invention, an evolution or something completely new, if ‘Nothing For Us Here’ is the case study, Cult Leader are making the right decisions.
It’s a menacing six-track dose of dark hardcore, with a strong metal pulse. The good outweighs the bad. The peaks are sustained and the dull moments fleeting. Another good addition for the genre.
1. God’s Lonely Children
2. Flightless Birds
4. Indoctrinator’s Deathbed
5. Skin Crawler