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Cult of Lilith - Mara

Cult of Lilith
Mara
by Chris Hawkins at 24 August 2020, 6:44 PM

From the frozen realm of Iceland comes this week’s entry, a band called CULT OF LILITH.  The band’s first full-length, “Mara,” is being released on September fourth via Metal Blade Records.  It is nothing short of a humbling privilege to have stumbled across this band.  Theirs is a sound that blends highly articulate, syncopated rhythms, elastic explorations of the solo, and a varied, highly effective vocal performance.  This is one of those bands to really make an overwhelming impression so read on to hear how GOJIRA, DECAPITATED, and RIVERS OF NIHIL will need to step up their game after this!

Cosmic Maelstrom” kicks things off with a Baroque-inspired keyboard, yet this is not going into CRADLE OF FILTH territory.  The riffs are meaty with thick chops of chugging mayhem.  It has a dark overtone to what amounts to be a more extreme version of Progressive Metal.  Folks that like SEPTIC FLESH or even FLESHGOD APOCALYPSE should immediately take note for its is a precise offering of technical fury focused on a singular groove underlying the ensuing maelstrom.  “Purple Tide” follows with what feels like a carnival type of appeal initially but soon, the onslaught begins.  Replete with focused, tightly muted riffs, even the more complicated parts feature a Jedi-like command over articulation.  To see this as a preeminent guitar sound is obvious.  It goes on to work in tandem with acrobatic keyboard passages on a beefed-up version of what if DREAM THEATER were suddenly really heavy.  Finally, the track quietly ends with a solemn whisper.

There are so many facets to explore that shape CULT OF LILITH’s sound.  The aggressive dry-lung vocal approach recalls some of the fiercer moments from MESHUGGAH combined with a spry Randy Blythe who can also belt out clean vocals to embarrass Burton C. Bell's stunning studio precedence on classics like "Demanufacture".  This is a band that is truly indicative of the time we live.  The emphasis is on a showy whirlwind of complex rhythms paired with exotic scales pleasing the brutal camp as well as the guitar nerds simultaneously.

The fourth track, “Atlas,” is an interesting change of pace.  The listener initially is greeted with a maniacal, ARCTURUS meets FAITH NO MORE’s mellow moments, but this is just the beginning.  When the song actually kicks in, brutal riffs begin to flow while the chorus presents a return to the cleaner vocal approach.  Even when the bass is taking a guilty, pleasurable run into solo territory, the sonic vibe is maintained with an eerie atmosphere.  The following track, “Comatose” is like a think tank developed a simulation of reality where MR. BUNGLE collaborated with a more direct yet no less lethal band such as STRAPPING YOUNG LAD.  It contains a complex meandering between parts that has now become a trademark.  The way the band ventures into exotic scales to create their odd, parallel realm existing according to their rules is evidence of the blood, sweat, and tears put into crafting this excellent song.

CULT OF LILITH has created a sound that indeed contains nods to other greats but ultimately is all their own.  There is this weird, chaos-influenced trippy sensation gained from listening to this where under the right conditions (or substances, really), one can become intoxicatingly hypnotized by the malevolent melodies that run rampant throughout.  It is a challenging effort recalling bands ranging from the aforementioned to DOG FASHION DISCO, SOLEFALD, or a dizzying, Jazz-tinged FEAR FACTORY at the primacy of their relevance.  This is an album to appeal to a wide variety of listeners from all corners of the Metal world.

Songwriting: 8
Originality: 8
Memorability: 8
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Cosmic Maelstrom
2. Purple Tide
3. Enter the Mancubis
4. Atlas
5. Comatose
6. Profeta Paloma
7. Zángano
8. Le soupir du fantôme
Lineup:
Mario Infantes –Vocals
Daniel þór Hannesson - Guitars
Kristján Jóhann Júlíusson - Guitars
Samúel Örn Böðvarsson – Bass
Kjartan Harðarson – Drums
Record Label: Metal Blade Records
     


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