Thursday, November 10, 2016

Cult Of Fire - Life, Sex and Death (2016)

Let's not get this wrong twice, folks. Cult Of Fire are a Czech epic black metal act (not Indian, like you may expect) even though I'd hesitate to call them “epic black metal.” They feature members of Death Karma and Lykathea Aflame (have to bring up that underground legend) among others. They're very synth-heavy on this EP and even bring out an oddity called “Chinnamasta Mantra” which isn't anything like you would have expected from them. Perhaps. Not only do we have some female vocal chanting here, but what I'd consider to be a sort of keyboard ambience. In addition to this, chimes are used as well as backing element of light guitar melodies. Keep in mind, just before this very light and moody place plays on the disc, you'll hear a rather traditional slice of raw black metal entitled "Life" which entwines with some playful synths. The frontman also has a terrifying scowl, which feels very “black metal” and brings me that same sense of fright that I feel I should expect with the genre. Just remember that there are some lighter guitar melodies utilized within several of these tracks, which brings us a more light-hearted feeling as compared to something where hope is completely vacant. After all, there's nothing on the record that lyrically seems to speak to what one might consider darkness and evil and the whole of Life, Sex and Death seems to revolve around Hinduism and Vedic ritual.

It still pummels, especially three quarters of the way through “Death” but might be a little too twinkly for some of you, I'm sure. Cult Of Fire offer something different than most bands, which I think says a lot about them. It's a style of black metal that is certainly grim, but not necessarily filled with despair. As a matter of fact, the disc's last track (merely titled “Tantric Sex”) is something altogether different and nearly redefines the impact of black metal. I'm sure that some of the greats might be a bit upset with this happy approach to the music, but it comes off pretty damn refreshing. I'd also suppose that the massive influx of abrasive drumming is the climax portion in this musical sex act. Not too shabby. Let's hope that there will be more to come in the future, as I think Cult Of Fire is just the kind of thing that a stale black metal scene needs right now.

(4 Tracks, 20:00)


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