Unforgiving the black and raw: an interview with Thorns of Kult

Thorns Pictures by Blazing Visions

Pictures by Blazing Visions

It has been six years in the coming but the return of Italian black metallers Kult with their second album Unleashed From Dismal Light has equally regained and reinforced the band’s presence and reputation as one of the rawest essential old school black metal provocateurs and ignited another fervour of passion from fans and those new to the band. With a new vocalist on board, the Como quartet has uncaged a force of sonic causticity, vitriol, and rapacious malevolence which provides the healthiest depths of satisfaction in its victims. To learn more about Kult, their new album, the long time between releases and much more we had the pleasure to talk with drummer Thorns.

Hello and thanks for talking with us at the Ringmaster ReviewCould you start by telling us about the beginnings of Kult and the origins of its members?

Kult was born in 2002 with the only purpose of playing old school Black-Metal. The band released one demo tape, 2 albums and a split EP with The Stone so far. The band had some line-up problems during the years and also some problems with personal life that forced the member to stop activities for almost 3 years in the recent past. But actually I have to say we’re finally back to stay. The actual line up is composed by:  Kacele (guitars), D.White (bass), Tumulash (vocals) and me Thorns (drums).

You mentioned that purpose which came with the band has that intent changed or evolved over time?

Nope. Nothing has changed from the beginning actually. When the band was created the guys wanted to play old school and as you can listen on the new album after more than 10 year of existence, nothing has changed, and of course I can assure nothing will change in the future as well.

Your sound is bred in raw old school black metal as you say, what have been the influences over time which has seeded inspirations?

Well, as you can imagine we’ve grew up listening to raw music so our influences are actually from that. I’m the older guy of the band so I can speak from myself telling that Darkthrone, Burzum, Gorgoroth or early Immortal were my solid basis of my youth…but well I can also speak for the guys saying they loved hell bands like Armagedda, Craft or Gorgoroth as well…and we can definitely say we can hear that from our music!

kult_unleashedfromdismallight_cover (1)You have just released your strongly anticipated second album Unleashed From Dismal Light, how has it been received from those waiting appetites?

I have to say that I never expected such a great “welcome back!” As I told before, the band had to stop for 3 long years and you know…a lot of people usually forget what it was so I truly believed a lot of people forgot about us…but I have to say I was wrong. A lot of people wrote us back saying they were happy to see we were still alive and kicking with a new album out. This was awesome for us…these kinds of things give you more energy and determination to go ahead stronger than before.

It has between six years between Unleashed From Dismal Light and debut album Winds Of War; you touched on it earlier but can you elaborate on the reasons for the long stretch of time?

Life sucks man…some of us got into some troubles with jobs, other personal issues about family…and also consider we’re not living so close (me and the other guys around 400km) so it is not easy all the time to get the right mood and be strong enough to “survive”. Sometimes you just need a break because it is too much. This is what basically happened within the band…but as you can see after all those problems were solved, the band rises back from the ashes with renewed energy and strength.

We suggested the album was not concerned in breaking down boundaries for black metal but concentrating on giving it a new and fresher toxicity and sonic pestilence to get excited about; a fair comment?

Not sure to understand exactly what you mean…but by my side I can surely tell that this new album is more powerful and direct than the first one…but if you listen carefully the music is also slower than the early composition. We actually focused on the songs, not asking ourselves what people would expect from us after a so long break. We could release a killer high speed album to get people some fresh meat to grind but we preferred going ahead completely true with ourselves, following our hearts. Mostly of the new songs are mid tempos or slow and the mood is more heavy and “pestilential” I would say. This is pure bone-breaking music, no bullshit! There are many bands out there playing fast…we’re not in the same race; we’re not looking for some medals! We’re not interested in competitions!! Do you want to get sick? Do you want to get mad? Do you want to get pain in the neck? “Unleashed From Dismal Light” might be what you’re looking for. Give it a try.

How has the creation and recording of Unleashed From Dismal Light compared to its predecessor and how would you say your sound and songwriting has evolved between the pair?

Well, to tell you the truth this album, except for some lyrics, is 3 years old. I mean we already composed it back in 2010 when we had the break. Everything was ready to be recorded shortly after but well, you already know the story. So basically I can say there is not much difference between the 2 albums except for the fact that on the second one it’s me on drums, and on the first one they had another drummer. Technically I can say the new one is more tight and powerful but musically I feel not much difference. Probably we could start noticing some years passed on new compositions but I can tell nothing about it right now.

What is the writing process with Kult?

Probably nothing exciting: the guitar player show the other guys some riffs and all of the band starts working on it. Average band modus operandi.

kult pictures by Luneth Vinönen

pictures by Luneth Vinönen

We already knew, knowing before his vocals style, that the album would have sounded completely different so we gave him the complete freedom to express himself the way he liked the most. We are friends since a long time ago so when we asked him to join the band we already had some kind of common vision of how the album should have sounded. We also downtuned the guitars/bass to give it the general mood. To be honest everything went better than expected ’cause I had an idea about the final result that Tumulash completely burned to the ground ‘cause he sung in a completely different and new way I didn’t expect from him. So yeah, today I’m more and more confident about the decision to take him on board.

Please give us some insight into the recording of the album and its raw unforgiving sound, was it as it hints at done as a live recording to achieve the rich merciless sound?

We didn’t want to record the new album in a proper studio this time…we wanted a raw approach that only someone who knows what we’re talking about can give it. So we recorded it in our rehearsal room (Beastcave Studios) with the precious help of a friend of mine that is a talented black-metal musician and sound engineer. We used our equipment and all the things we usually have in the dark room, so even if all instruments have been recorded separately like in a normal professional studio, the general mood sounds like a live recording. It is exactly what we wanted.

Lyrically the songs feel like a statement and attack on the toxicity in the world and us as people but also at times seem to carry a personal breath or essence of the writer, how much of the album is that close to the personal thoughts and experiences of the band?

Some songs come from the previous singer and have just been revisited and adapted by Tumulash, others have been written by Tumulash himself and they speak about some personal things I really don’t like to talk about. Some lines are quite clean to understand, some are more cryptic. Each listener can find his own way to decode them.

It is hard for any band to grab a spotlight when releasing an album, even a band like Kult with a strong and acclaimed pedigree from previously releases; how have you found it with Unleashed From Dismal Light especially within black metal circles?

Our previous label, French Debemur Morti Productions, did an amazing job some years ago spreading the Kult name all around and selling/trading a lot of copies as well…so well, when we recorded the new album we just sent some promos around and Folter Records was the fastest one which gave us a good offer. Actually we knew the label and the guy behind it for a long time so we quickly agreed to work together. It is always easier when you know the guys personally and there is some kind of mutual respect for each other work.

KULT_BandfotoCan we expect a full on presence from Kult from now on live and from the studio, no six years before the next release? 😉

I hope not of course! ha ha! Kult are back to stay but you know, life is full of traps and misfortune behind every corner. The only sure thing, except Death, is that we have a lot of live shows booked for the next year including some interesting festivals as well, so no time to slow down even for a bit!

Talking of those live shows is there anything planned tour wise to promote Unleashed From Dismal Light?

We discussed many times with Folter Records about a possible tour for Kult but we need to check all the details each time. It is not easy ‘cause we all have a regular job but we’ll see what we can do. For sure we’ll play as much as we can and are talking about single shows or festival appearances.

Once again many thanks for sparing time to chat with us, any last thoughts you wish to share?

Thanks for the space. Give “Unleashed From Dismal Light” a listen.

https://www.facebook.com/pages/KULT/166348940061985

Read the Unleashed From Dismal Light review @ https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2013/11/29/kult-unleashed-from-dismal-light/

Pete RingMaster

The RingMaster Review 16/12/2013

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Kult – Unleashed From Dismal Light

KULT_Bandfoto

Italian black metallers Kult have returned with their strongly anticipated second album Unleashed From Dismal Light and as the eight track release savages the senses with its raw and rapacious malevolence you cannot avoid feeling that it is a long overdue violation. The album does not defy expectations, the Como quartet proudly uncaging the resourceful old school black metal they build their sound upon and are known for, the release leaving the genre’s boundaries safe from rupturing into new pastures but with a causticity and vitriol which ignites the senses the album provides a healthy level of satisfaction as the band comes back into focus.

Kult was formed in 2002 by guitarist Kacele and vocalist Werewolf, and within its first year released the Total Devastation demo whilst playing shows across Italy and Switzerland. It was their 2007 released debut album Winds Of War which cast the band to a wider attention around Europe and further afield, the band backing it and their emerging stature with tours and festival appearances. It has been six years between albums but with new vocalist Tumulash replacing Werewolf who left the band earlier this year, alongside Kacele, bassist Davide White, and drummer Gionata Potenti, Kult and Unleashed From Dismal Light looks set to reignite the band’s reputation and presence within black metal.

Released via cult German label Folter Records, the album emerges from a sinister ambience as opener Specter’s Recurrence Kult_UnleashedFromDismalLight_Covercomes into view. The haunting coaxing sets a menacing atmospheric scene, church bells tolling for the impending menace and unbridled ferocity launched by guitars and rhythms, a sonic pestilence ridden by the equally rabid vocal squalls. With acidic melodic lures entwined around the battering of intensive rhythms and venomous delivery of Tumulash, it is an unsurprising but tasty savagery, the bestial bass tones and occasional eruption of addictive hooks sparking an eager appetite for the onslaught.

The intensive examination of the ears continues with Malicious Metamorphosis, the prowling entrance of the track an immediate doom clad embrace given a destructive breath by Tumulash. The bass of White again has a dark voice which grips attention from within the strong persuasion of the song, its stalking potent bait within the winding sonically sculpted melodies wrapped in coarse intensive persistence. The production on song and release is murky, which accentuates the suffocating nature of the immersive sound but also suppresses the clarity of some of the stronger invention and enterprise, leaving thoughts unsure of its success either way. Nevertheless the album continues to satisfy and spark the imagination as the predatory Exercitus Mortorum with its carnivorous intent and swaggering rabidity alongside the merciless To Flagellate Life soon prove.

Unleashed From Dismal Lights at no point sets the passions aflame but certainly has them awoken to its increasingly predacious assault. Raging Curse Upon Man is another stalking beast of a track, sinews and gait concentrated on corruption of the senses whilst rhythms tumble and roam through the ear with a vindictive nature to match the ever voracious vocals. The track exploits the essences of black metal at its original core to make a strong introduction but when turning in a temptation of dirty rock ‘n’ roll loaded with wanton addictive grooves it raises the pinnacle of the album with ease, its most adventurous and exploratory encounter.

The rampant Into Deadly Coils with its bordering on folkish swing is another major highlight of the release, the track an irrepressible almost friendly encounter with its brief but enticing instrumental presence, whilst the following Sons of Nightfall and closing track Senza Pace complete the album with an insidiously taunting yet potently alluring sprawl of blackened malevolence.

Much of the inventive depths of the songs are overwhelmed by the instinctive sonic venom and smothering production of the album it is fair to say but offers enough strength to tempt within the tempest to make Unleashed From Dismal Light a very worthy focus for the attention of old school black metal fans and those with a broader remit. Kult has not reinvented the wheel but appealingly made it roll with raw invention to again mark the band out.

https://www.facebook.com/pages/KULT/166348940061985

7/10

RingMaster 29/11/2013

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