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ALBUM REVIEW: Cult Burial - Reverie of The Malignant
"Reverie of The Malignant" will be released on October 20th independently
England's Cult Burial have returned to wreak havoc with their blackened death metal sound with the release of their second album "Reverie of The Malignant". The follow up to the band's 2020 self-titled debut, the band took their blackened death metal sound, and added a darker, more morbid sound with this release. With a darker production sound and the addition of more doom metal into the band's sound, the album takes a more ominous and foreboding sound then the band's debut. Has Cult Burial dived further into the darkness and come back the same band? No, they came back better.
Opening the album is the song "Umbra". With haunting and atmospheric guitars with a pulsing bass, the song kicks into high gear with a chugging guitar riff in the verses section. The album has a more black metal style of production with a cavernous reverb-like sound to it, adding to the more doom and gloom atmosphere of the track. Driving double bass over the chugging riff and gutturals shows the band's full dive into a more doom heavy sound with this record. The chorus is a great amalgamation of melodic death metal and black metal, which the band does so well musically. The reverbed and cavern like vocals add such a punch, with dynamic hits throughout the song as well. With the song, you can hear the ominous and eerie sound design from influential bands like Deathspell Omega and Blut Aus Nord, creating that eerie and "lost in the unknown" feeling, and Cult Burial does this very well on the opening track.
"Awaken" continues the band's beautiful marriage of blackened death and doom. With blistering guitars, blasting drums and a distortion, white noise like effect in the opening, the song starts off heavy. The death metal influence is heavy on this track, especially going into the chorus. Gutturals are so low and deep, and with the slowed down tempo change, you can hear the agony, anguish and aggression in the vocals before the pace picks back up and continues the heavy low and slow fusion the band embraces. "Parasite" starts with such a grimy and gritty bass opening before the drums and guitars match up with it. A slower song, but still heavy and driving with the drums and guitars, adding a dark and evil sound to the track. With the ambient guitars and chugging riff, the song is a slow headbanger of a track. The guitar solo after the swampy bass sound hits so good when it drops in the track. With the thundering tom hits in the build to the end of the track, the song comes to a dark, brooding and atmospheric end similar to the likes of Portal.
"Paralysed" continues the soundscape build the band does so well with this release. With wailing guitars, pummeling double bass, and simple riffing into pounding blast beats, the band loves to play with the listener. Leaning them one way before side-swiping them with a different direction and sound. The ambience and atmosphere of the background guitars into the chugging sounds so heavy and driving throughout, intermittent with blast beats and ringing guitars amidst the growled vocals. With "Strive", the almost horror-movie like opening build, gives off the anxious and uneasy feeling, as the song begins building faster with the progressive metal style opening drums. One of my favorite tracks off the album, with its slow, almost funeral doom dirge at the three quarters mark, adding a Sunn O))) or Ahab "low and slow" ambience before picking back up just hits so good when the pace picks up. "Existence" is another great track with a more upbeat sounding opening guitar into relentless double bass drumming. The song almost has a thrash/death metal sound to it, almost like Midnight with Amon Amarth vocals on it. A sort of change of pace style song compared to the other tracks, but I like it a lot. The album closes with "Oblivion". With an eerie and uneasy feeling guitar opening, with ghastly and creepy whispers into a heavy opening bass section, the song sets the stage for a grand conclusion down this darkened rabbit hole. The band goes balls to the wall with the genre hopping and tempo changes throughout, making it the most progressive sounding track on the album. Atmospheric, pummeling, depressing and overall heavy, the song is an adventurous track that concludes the band's epic tale of dissolution, darkness and comes crawling out of the depths to survive another day.
"Reverie of The Malignant" is a great record for fans of the progressive and atmospheric style of blackened death metal. The band's inspiration and fusion of death metal, black metal and now doom metal gives the band a unique character and dimension that adds them to other band's trying to push the genre in new directions. Cult Burial have something special with this release, and I will follow this band into the depths of whatever hell they are going into. Hopefully I'll come out alive.
SCORE: 9.5 / 10
FFO: Anaal Nathrakh, Agalloch, Insomnium