Culted – ‘Oblique To All Paths’

Culted - Oblique To All Paths ArtworkIn the age of modern technology, and the facilities with which it equips us, it perhaps should come as no enormous surprise that, even in the six year history of the band, the four members of Culted have never actually shared the same collective breathing space… while three quarters of the members – Michael Klassen (guitar/bass/percussion/noise), Matthew Friesen (guitar/bass/percussion/noise) and Kevin Stevenson (drums) – hail from the Canadian city of Winnipeg, the fourth limb – vocalist Daniel Jansson – is very firmly rooted in the home of Swedish black metal, Gothenburg.  It may be a somewhat unique working environment, but, as mentioned, perhaps one which should not be overly intimidating for both artiste and fan alike!

Having previously collaborated on 2009’s ‘Below the Thunders of the Upper Deep’ debut, the quartet have continued to bounce recordings back and forth through the ether and off interweb clouds to produce this epic, 72-minute sophomore opus of dark, dense doom.

Epic opener ‘Brooding Hex’ sets the scene, with its dreary downbeat nihilism, spread across 19 absorbing minutes of ethereal dankness, which, despite its length, passes in the blinking of an eye.  ‘Illuminati’ is as punishing as its subject matter, with its whiplash riff and bleak atmospherics, merging eloquently into the monstrous ‘Intoxicant Immuration’, which takes the cacophonous darkness to an even more Dante-esque level.

‘March Of The Wolves’ is a classic mid-tempo doom standard, crammed with sampled atmospherics, while the brief apostasy of ‘Distortion Of The Nature Of Manki’ is a natural bridge into the demon-summoning obliquity of ‘Transmittal’, while closer ‘Jeremiad’ is chaotic but amoebic in its intense deliberation.

All of the adjectives have been used to describe this epic work which, while a bit wayward and disjointed in places, serves a pleasingly unpleasant slice of doomish monstrousness to darken even the brightest of nights.

Track list:

Brooding Hex / Illuminati / Intoxicant Immuration / March Of The Wolves / Distortion Of The Nature Of Manki / Transmittal / Jeremiad

Recommended listening:  ‘Illuminati’

‘Oblique To All Paths’ is released on Relapse Records on January 21.

About Mark Ashby

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