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Cult of Sorrow - Invocation of the Lucifer Award winner

Cult of Sorrow
Invocation of the Lucifer
by Gary Hernandez at 19 August 2019, 4:08 PM

CULT OF SORROW is a Doom Metal band hailing from Cincinnati, Ohio. They’ve been around since 2014 and have been steadily treating the world to fuzz-laden black gold at a pace of about one album every two years. In 2014, they issued their self-titled debut EP. It’s a stunning album and if you don’t own it, you need to hit Bandcamp today. In 2017 they released the near masterpiece, “Ascension” — hint, read last sentence and repeat. In September this year “Invocation of the Lucifer” will be unleashed. They say it takes three data points to make a trend. Well, friends, we have a trend here — and not a trend like “trending on social media,” but a trend as in a legitimate track record of frickin’ awesomeness.

“Invocation of the Lucifer” kicks off with a clip from what I presume is a b-movie from the 70’s, or it could be a recording of an Alistair Crowley brunch at the old Boleskine House homestead. Either way, the snippet runs about thirty some odd seconds before breaking into the crushing riffage of track one, “Come Infernal.” Now everyone and their little dog Toto, too, will point out the SABBATH similarities. Let’s say “Master of Reality” days. Sure, I can hear it, but SABBATH pretty much defined a genre. Saying a Doom Metal band is reminiscent of SABBATH is like saying a writer is reminiscent of Hemingway because they use words.

Speaking of words, before I move on to other tracks I wanted to mention Lovett’s songwriting skills. Reading through the lyrics of this album is like reading a novella, and good one. This guy doesn’t just write four lines, toss in a chorus, and then loop back to first four lines—he legitimately progresses the storyline. There are a lot of good lyricists in Metal — it’s part of what makes the music so interesting — but the artists deserve to be recognized for it. Tracks two and three, “Shaman” and “Invocation” are solid Doom tracks, beguiling and memorable. The production levels are crisp and clear, Smith (drums) and Owens (bass) lay out an unwavering rhythm line, Contreras and Lovett trade off heavy dosages of riffs and solos, and, of course, Lovett’s vocal performance is brilliant. From their initial EP through to “Ascension” and on to this, their latest release, you can really hear him evolve as a distinctive vocalist.

“Witch Dance” has to be my favorite track on the album. Warning, this song has an infectious chorus. You’ll need to exercise serious self-control in public spaces after listening to it. Probably wouldn’t be cool for your cubicle partners to hear you chanting: “See the witches dance naked under pale moonlight / At the crossroads of all time / Paying homage to their elders and the great horned one / Fornication for divine.” But then again, it might be exactly what those people you work with need to hear. Other great tracks include “Burn” and “Satan’s Eyes.” I also like “Souls of the Damned.” It’s probably the bluesiest and slowest track on the album and, for me, epitomizes the Doom Metal love song. The singer is lamenting unrequited love or heartbreak or an unhealthy infatuation, blah, blah, love hurts and all that. Now what makes this Doom and not Symphonic—apart from the obvious lack of violins, harps, and cellos—is the chorus: “How many times have I cried for you  / Souls of the damned shall rise again.” I mean this guy measures the depth of his sorrow not through the number of whiskey bottles he consumes or the number of pick-up trucks he wrecks, but through the dark arts of necromancy. That’s love, bro.

At one time Cincinnati was only known for their sports teams, that albino tiger in the zoo, and for putting chili on their spaghetti. Now they can add CULT OF SORROW to their list of accomplishments. But, seriously, this band rocks. Go out buy all their stuff, go to their shows, follow them on your favorite social media platform, spread the news. Doom, although it never really left, is back.

Songwriting: 10
Originality: 9
Memorability: 10
Production: 9

5 Star Rating

1. Come Infernal
2. Shaman
3. Invocation
4. Witch Dance
5. Souls of the Damned
6. Burn
7. Satan's Eyes
8. The Mirror 
Joe Owen - Bass
Bobby Smith - Drums
Pete Contreras - Guitars
Jerry Lovett - Vocals, guitars
Record Label: Black Doomba Records


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