Cultist – „Chants of Sublimation”
Morbid Chapel Records

Cultist is Italian/Norwegian project with members of Urarv, Dauden, Darvaza and Fides Inversa.
You could feel a slight disillusionment, since the EP only features 23 minutes of playing time (although we are happy with 23 minutes of high quality songs). At the core of their somber tone are crunchy guitar riffs that range in style but mostly plod along in mid-tempo groove and sorrow. The distortion they use gives the album a unique sound in that it is much heavier than other black metal albums yet still just as crunchy. Floating above these rhythm guitars are passionate lead-lines and great medium-high black metal vocals. The lead lines are recorded in a slightly different fashion—a little cleaner—which helps them stand out from the rhythm guitars because your ear can pick them up even in their slightly lower volume.
The vocals aren’t exactly ‚typical’ of black metal, but they’re not overly original. At times, the Cultist vocalist reminds me of how Niklas Olsson, Shining’s vocalist and how the band implements their vocals on their music. As I go on to say, there are a number of similarities to Shining, which is no disparagement on Cultist by any means. The vocals are exactly what Cultist requires. The vocals add just the right amount of aggression to the proceedings and do not take away from any of the instruments which are attempting to do the same thing as the vocals, though the instrumental sections add a lot more depth to the proceedings. Especially in terms of the textures of the music, from aggression to beauty, Cultist are experimental in all senses of the word. This, again, is down to superb musicianship. Cultist innovative side never leaves the foreground and that, to me, is important. Creative riffs, bass that actually stands a chance of being heard and some neat and tidy percussion keep this interesting from beginning to finish. The production is as good as the skill while playing their instruments and it leaves enough room for every instrument to unfold itself.
Cultist released a good and stylistic black metal debut. There is no real highlight on the record, but all songs are above the average and therefore convincing. In terms of orchestration and composition they offer enough varation, although they are using the blast beats a bit inflationary. They are surpassing every band that is playing a similiar style of black metal without copying anyone. I’m really looking forward to the next record of these guys.