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Culted - Nous Award winner

by Chloe O'Brien at 15 April 2021, 2:31 PM

CULTED is a five-member Blackened Doom Metal band from Gothenburg, Sweden and Winnipeg Canada. They have released 5 EP’s and albums since the year 2009. Their newest release is "Nous” released in 2021.

Lowest Class” is a long introduction to the album at 7.47 minutes. It is full of heavy crashing cymbals and has a lot of distortion on the vocals. It is very suspenseful from the low cry of the bass. It feels like a build up for the next few songs to come.

Lifers” starts out feedback from speakers and guitars and has a sweet melody playing, with a complimenting deeper guitar accompanying. It starts to get busy and more distorted sounding and the drums pick up and the guitar becomes heavier. The vocals are heavily distorted and sounds almost like an inner dialogue. There are lots of changes and it is a pleasant to listen to.

One Last Smoke” opens with melancholic guitars and whispering vocals. The mixture of heavy drums, airy whispering and the interchanging melodies on the guitar makes the song almost calming and peaceful.

Ankle Deep” has a waltz like beat and an ominous bass in the intro. There is whispering in the introduction to this song, and it sets the image for the journey the song took me on. It starts of slow and suspenseful not using a lot of instruments as you can only hear distorted guitar for a few seconds of the song, CULTED managed to make “Ankle Deep” sound soft and sweet but also rough and demonic. This sound changes completely around the 2-minute mark and becomes a lot heavier and there are heavy growling vocals. There are high tremolos played on the guitars which are a nice touch to the gritty and rough guitar, bass and vocals.

Black Bird” is the most personal feeling song on the track in my personal opinion as there is a use of acoustic guitar and the electronic noises as well as the gruesome growling vocals add a sense of emotional ambience. The track has a lot of different elements such as the high-pitched ring of the bell and the off-beat drums. It has a marching beat on the drums that change to heavier drums as the vocals and guitar. The use of layers in the recording of this track make it feel like its whooshing in and out which adds a special element, almost like a black bird flying through a sky of metal guitar.

The sixth track on the album is “Opiate the Hounds”.  It opens very sinister sounding with whispering which feels like its all around and adds creepiness to the track. This track is a slow track, and it transitions nicely into the next song, “Maze”.

Maze” starts with electronic sounds and a melody played on the guitar this song is again quite suspenseful and has a slow intro.  It gets heavier as the vocals are introduced and it increasingly becomes busier. It is a track full of raw sounding Black Metal.

Crown of Lies” has a very distorted sounding it sounds like is playing from a vintage stereo over the added crackling and it adds a haunting ambience. The vocals are not very prominent on this track they are more like a background whispering and growling. At the three-minute mark there’s an addition of a melody played on the bass and guitar and the beat starts to pick up on the drums. It is truly something worth listening too as its slow but has metal elements and growling vocals.

The Grid” starts with a melody that sounds intentionally out of key or tune. It has low rumbling bass in the beginning. There is a high pitch whistle that gets gradually louder, that sounds like it is from a heavily distorted guitar which raises the anticipation of a heavy breakdown. The low black metal vocals and heavy drums start and get your heart pumping. The vocals and the instruments seem to fade in an out and there is a breakdown of all instruments. The use of effects on the vocals in this song are a great way of making the track sound unique.

The last song on this album is “Crush My Soul-Cover” which is a cover of GODFLESH’s song. It is a lot more distorted than the original song but, in my opinion, CULTED did a great cover of the song and they made it their own sound.

"Nous" by CULTED is a great addition to any black metal lover’s collection. They have many elements in their songs that are interesting and unique to listen to. They have a big use of distortion on this album but that what makes it so good.

Songwriting: 7
Musicianship: 9
Memorability: 7
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

1.Lowest class
3.One Last Smoke
4.Ankle Deep
5.Black Bird
6. Opiate the Hounds
8.Crown of Lies
9.The Grid
10.Crush My Soul -Cover
Erik Larsen - Additional sound, Modular synths
Kevin Stevenson -  Drums
Mike Klassen - Guitars, Bass, Percussion, Noise
Matthew Friesen - Guitars, Bass, Percussion, Noise
Daniel Jansson - Vocals, Ambience
Record Label: Season of Mist


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