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Cultes Des Ghoules - Henbane

Cultes Des Ghoules
by Witch Wolf at 22 April 2013, 1:56 PM

I want to start by saying that I am not much of a Black Metal fan. In addition, I do not welcome music glorifying Satanism, and that does tend to be prevalent in most Black Metal music. That being said, I do not really know that I was the best choice to be reviewing this, but I will give it my best shot…

CULTES DES GHOULES have been around since 2008 and hail from Poland. They have several releases under their belts and seem to show no signs of stopping yet! The opening track, “Idylls of the Chosen Damned” begins with some maniacal laughter and sinister sound effects that sound like something you might hear in some random psychedelic horror film from the late 60s or 70s. This goes on for over a minute before the actual song kicks in. I actually like some of the guitar work in this and I admire the drummer’s stamina. However, the vocals are difficult for me to bear. I just do not like this style of vocalization. (I hesitate to call it “singing” and they would most likely even be insulted if I did.) It is the unintelligible screaming/growling that is standard Black Metal vocal fare as far as I am concerned. Die-hard fans may disagree and I will certainly not argue with them about it. I stress yet again, this is not the kind of music you will find in my CD library overall, so I do not claim to be an authority.

The sound of chanting begins the second track, entitled “The Passion of a Sorceress”. I can only assume it is to represent the sorceress herself casting a spell or a curse. The vocals are surprisingly cleaner sounding here and sometimes remind me slightly of Cronos (VENOM). There is also a part where the vocalist emits a rather convincing groan/scream that definitely makes you believe he is in some sort of pain. He must have crossed that Sorceress somehow! I found it amusing and could not help but to laugh. (I’m not sure what that says about me exactly…)

The next track is “Vintage Black Magic” (Not just black magic, mind you, but vintage black magic. They’re serving it up old-school!). But seriously, this is probably the best track on this release to me. I rather liked the music at the very beginning and there are more atmospheric elements to this one as well. It has a chilling, more haunting vibe to it than the rest. “Festival of Devotion” is nothing less than an insane cacophony of chaos from start to finish. This is definitely the throat-ripper of the album.

While this CD only consists of six tracks, the shortest one clocks in at just less than 10 minutes. So, do not think you are being ripped off in any way here. You’re not. It is obvious that CULTES DES GHOULES put a lot of time and effort into each track. What I liked best about this release was the bleak atmosphere, which they definitely have mastered and the sound effects that would be great in older black & white horror films or the above mentioned psychedelic ones. The VENOM-ish undertones were a plus as well and enabled me to like this CD better than I expected to. Nonetheless, it still is not something I would add to my collection.

Nevertheless, if you like Black Metal that can be heavy yet doom-filled, sinister and chaotic, then CULTES DES GHOULES is worth your time to check into.

2 Star Rating

1. Idylls of the Chosen Damned
2. The Passion of a Sorceress
3. Vintage Black Magic
4. Festival of Devotion
5. The Devil Intimate
Minski - Bass
W. Earl - Drums
Machine - Guitars
Mark Of The Devil - Vocals
Record Label: Hells Headbangers Records


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