Having your chest crushed by the physical weight of a behemoth is maybe the best way to describe how Cultus devours and suffocates ears with its doom laded proposal. The two track oppression is an insatiable consumption from US band Slave Cylinder, a pestilential sufferance of sound and ill-intent that increasingly enthrals as it smothers the life out of body and soul. It is a demo which demands attention, realising its aim with increasing relish once the numbness resides and a brave exploration into its fearsome depths are made.
Slave Cylinder is a one man project from Rockford in Illinois, though of whom we cannot say as background is as absent as raw intensity from the release is constant. Cultus is the first encounter with the project, an invasive proposal recorded with Chris Galvez at Good Fortune Audio and released through Cold Dark Matter Records (Red Harvest, Fange, Compil Prima Giedi, DEAD, Ende, Immemorial).
Making a low key entrance is opening track Love Sermon, a lone guitar invitingly ambling around a vocal sample the first lure it offers. That initial ‘righteous’ moment soon erupts into a cavernous crawl with a demonic vocal insertion the trigger to lumbering riffs, invasive rhythms, and tortuously throated squalls. The raw vocals continue to assail ears amidst the heavy atmosphere; the track’s funereal march predatory and leading to destruction rather than being the aftermath of such, even with the corruption infested celestial winds that at times escape the tempest. As new twists and essences collude, every minute of the encounter becomes more fascinating than the last; a success epitomised by the haunted limbo-esque oasis of melancholy emerging to captivate ears and thought before both are in turn consumed in another avalanche of punishing drama.
Second song, The Seed features Chris Rodriguez of Tundras, and it too opens with calm scenery as church bells court a passing breeze of unsettled whispers. Subsequently though, another leviathan of sound and grievous enmity rises and envelops, it swiftly equipped with a sonic heralding for the ravishment to come. As the colossal tide smothers and trespasses, more angelically hued, siren-esque harmonics radiate in the tempestuous sky of the song whilst clear vocals rupture the wall of doom bred menace with a potency and presence as gripping as the intensity waiting to collapse upon the senses. Despite its weight and pressure, the track as good as stalks the listener rather than unleashes a full-on ravaging, that hinted at intent and confrontation for the main never erupting into the vicious hostility expected; a restraint which only makes the song all the more fearsome.
Cultus is an impressive and punishingly enjoyable first glimpse at Slave Cylinder, a project we are sure to hear more from with no doubt similarly rewarding and debilitating proposals to explore.
Pete RingMaster 09/02/2016
Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright
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