Cathedral of the Black Cult marks the second collaboration of the Croatian quintet collectively known as Black Cult. The band itself refers to this records as both ‘the past and future of Black Metal’. While this might be a bit of a bold statement for a fairly new band to make about their own music (they were founded back in 2013), it is by no means without some modium of merit. This is due to the fact that in the last twenty years or so, the five members of Black Cult have been part of at least thirteen different bands, honing their skills and perfecting their individual approach to music. This is very evident on Cathedral of the Black Cult, since the sheer experience, talent and dedication each and every musician brings to the table sets the bar for this record very high. As for the above-mentioned statement, the ‘past and future sound of Black Metal’ is also quite justified; If I had not read up on Black Cult as a band prior to giving this album a spin, I could easily have mistaken them for being a contemporary of many of the Black Metal legends that gave rise to the Second Wave. They have managed to stay true to this sound, while at the same time keeping it modern (most noticeably they have not stuck to the rough, unclean sound that many earlier bands favoured). All in all, Cathedral of the Black Cult contains nine original tracks, as well as a Black Metal cover version of the Motörhead song ”Kingdom of the Worm” (perhaps a tribute to the now-deceased legend? Who knows). My focus wil be, however, on the original content which, despite an overall coherent feel, clearly are distinct, powerful tracks, each in their own right. Not two tracks are entirely alike (as far as I understand it, this was a deliberate choice by the band in order for each member to leave their ‘own mark’ on the album, as it were); However, they are all built up in a time-tested and tried fashion: Powerful and distorted guitars, relentless drums, unforgiving bass and a gravelling, near growling vocal track. On several tracks you might even catch a glimpse of a guitar solo or two, expertly woven into the rest of the music and adding a bit of variation (a noticeable example is the track ”Black Cathedral). On top of that, Black Cult has chosen to stick to the classics, lyrics-wise and focuses solely upon the theme of satanism – Something they back up by giving Cathedral of the Black Cult not only said title, but through an underlying feel of symphony that somehow draws parallels to religious institutions (I cannot pin-point exactly what gives me this comparison – I will get back to you). Sure, in theory this record is the second release from this very accomplished Croatian band – However, many, many more hours of both practice, creation and perfection goes before it, due to the sheer amount of previous experiences from its members. And this has helped to create one hell of an addition to the Black Metal genre. It should be noted, however, that despite the nearly fifty-two minutes worth of grinding riffs Cathedral of Black Light represents is a great album in my opinion, it very little new. It is an album for fans of the old-school genre, and therefore I feel obliged to point that out. And just to prove my point, please click the link below for the music video The Witches Dance.
Recommended for fans of Emperor, Satyricon, Burzum and Immortal.