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Culted: Nous

This album explores the problem of physical and spiritual separation in ways that are overwhelmingly dark and despairing. The band isn’t thinking about temporary kinds of separation, or situations that can be easily resolved with a phone call or a note. No; they are focusing on the ways human beings can be pulled part by death or disease or suffering. These are familiar topics, but the band brings them into an especially sharp focus here. If that sounds appealing to you, you are in for a treat. This album is dark and unrelenting. As I write this, I’m listening to the closing track “Crush My Soul” and I can feel its weight slowly closing in.

But the album’s thematic darkness is only half the story. Curiously, the album is also about what can happen to the self when the business of the mind is put aside. The title Nous, which has something to do both with human common sense and divine reason brings this theme into view. For the band, the idea has to do with discovering things intuitively by putting aside all other forms of intelligence. I like the idea of finding peace within the despair, but I get the impression the band has something even more intensive in mind.

As for the music, it’s a consistently dark and droning blend of sludge and doom. There’s also quite a bit of atmospheric noise on this album. For the most part it works, but I thought it dragged more than just a little bit. To get a quick taste for the band, I suggest checking out “Maze,” a pretty solid track, especially after the first minute or so. If you want to hear the band’s really dark side, check out the aforementioned “Crush My Soul.” That song could ruin even the most festive occasions. It just reeks with despair. I was less interested in the moments here and there when the band brings in the sounds of low voices to suggest some kind of reflection or despair or something else. “Opiate the Hounds” is particularly determined to surround the listener with these voices. I found them distracting.

Track Listing:
1. Lowest Class
2. Lifers
3. One Last Smoke
4. Ankle Deep
5. Black Bird
6. Opiate the Hounds
7. Maze
8. Crown of Lies
9. The Grid
10. Crush My Soul

Added: April 20th 2021
Reviewer: Carl Sederholm
Related Link: Bandcamp Page
Hits: 457
Language: english

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