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Cult Of The Fox - Angelsbane

Cult Of The Fox
by Lior "Steinmetal" Stein at 06 May 2013, 2:33 PM

I like the saying that has been spread quite a lot since a few years that claims: Different but the same. Well folks, here we have the same thing yet I will broaden it a little and portray it to the suitable world of matter: Feels different but sounds the same. If I haven’t made it clear to you yet, just take a listen to the new CULT OF THE FOX album, “Angelbane”, via Rock It Up Records. How easy is that? But wait a second, before heading over to purchase the release, check out my perception of it as it might be worthwhile for you. Unlike the band’s early release, “A Vow Of Vengeance”, where the Swedes demonstrated their affection for pure Heavy Metal prowess in the name of what is truly sacred, and that is the genre, this here “Angelbane” tells a different story, and actually is a singular story on its whole. This time amassing to their growing army, CULT OF THE FOX took notice of the darkness of traditional Heavy Metal and carried it with them to the field of battle, also with one guitarist short. Alongside the IRON MAIDEN, HAMMERFALL, MANOWAR and SAXONish orchestrations, CULT OF THE FOX rallied early MERCYFUL FATE (Merely “Don’t Break The Oath”) and early ICED EARTH characterizations and portrayals. Notwithstanding, CULT OF THE FOX maintained their sheer attacking sound of 80s traditional Metal, the smothering crisp that sounds so reach and appealing. Moreover, “Angelbane”, at least for me, is a step forward in the band’s life cycle.

Pondering between epic storytelling and taking no prisoners, amid anthems and straightforward incursions, that is what I felt from “Angelbane”. I can’t say that I truly comprehended the storyline of this album, even vaguely. Largely, my main points of enthusiasm out of this album were two factors and these are the traditional song writing and the sound engineering. The band’s sound is addictive, similar to the earlier album. The 80s influence is undeniable, and it is so comforting altogether. Material wise, I didn’t expect anything less. The band’s darkened edge, shadowing a few portions of the tracks, is sensed but not in the magnitudes of murky Metal acts like EVERGREY for instance but more in the sagacity of HOLOCAUST or ANGEL WITCH of the NWOBHM. Head to the tracklist, “Angelbane”, served as a tale or a throng of tales, attained classic moments of glorious old school prowess. “Ready For Eternity”, a crushing IRON MAIDEN and HAMMERFALL totality, ample riffing, blazing speed chorus with such a captivating manner. Tradition will always have its ways to stimulate. “Upon The Throne of Skulls”, a mad heavy battering ram, rough singing, flanking the classical edge with ICED EARTH characteristics, soloing taking a Hard Rock direction with a few 70 markers beneath the 80s veil. “My Wrath Unleashed” creeps in the same manner with a speed demon mania, somewhat resembling a different version of ICED EARTH’s “My Own Savior”. “Angelsbane” cracks the air as the album’s opener with slow tempo, marching towards the next battle ground, ready to raise swords and shields. Yet, above the somewhat melancholic aggravation, there is a fine MERCYFUL FATE spike channeled by the singing and a few of the riffs. Mainly most of the music is NWOBHM oriented in its basic form.

As far as technical skills of the musicians go, I found CULT OF THE FOX to be quite capable foursome crew, yet I wouldn’t rate them that high on the Metal steel chain. Several of the soloing felt kind of weak, though equally there were blasts from the past. Furthermore, and to her benefit, Erika Wallberg gathered a selection of crunchy rhythm guitar riffs that will satisfy any old school fan base. Vocally, Magnus Hultman, has several singing variations that I really admire like his rougher edge for example, proficient high pitched abilities and fine tones, yet sometimes he is a tad boring with his chants. The rhythm section of Peter Svensson and Daniel Fritze is pretty much common for this genre’s assortments, and there were a few throughout the album as still we are in 2013 and not 1986, nonetheless, performed well.

Summing this one up, and I haven’t mention additional tracks because I will let you find out whether this is your calling or not. “Angelbane” is an impressive piece of traditional Metal music, ready and waiting for your loving ears to listen. 80s fans should adore this one and embrace it strongly, but you there in the back row; I believe you can also use some piece of Swedish Metal. 

4 Star Rating

1. Angelsbane
2. Nine Ones
3. Upon the Throne of Skulls
4. Rising Flames
5. Ready For Eternity
6. Winter Came Silent
7. Black Magic
8. My Wrath Unleashed
9. The Fire
10. The Divine Kill
Magnus Hultman – Vocals
Peter Svensson – Bass
Erika Wallberg – Guitars
Daniel Fritze - Drums
Record Label: Rock It Up Records


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