Culted - Nous review




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Band: Culted
Album: Nous
Release date: February 2021


01. Lowest Class
02. Lifers
03. One Last Smoke
04. Ankle Deep
05. Black Bird
06. Opiate The Hounds
07. Maze
08. Crown Of Lies
09. The Grid
10. Crush My Soul [Godflesh cover]


The word 'nous' means 'mind' or "intellect" in Greek. Culted's Nous plays with your mind in the most immersive, frightening, introspective, and nihilistic way.

Culted is a very interesting case of a band with three of the members living in Canada, and their vocalist located in Sweden. The four of them have never actually been in the same room together but that doesn't prevent them from delivering some of the most cohesive and compelling blackened doom in the metal scene. And blackened doom is a term that feels - and indeed is - very restrictive when describing Culted's sludgy sound because they also have a cold, industrial component, and they often resort to droney and ambient soundscapes.

The lyrics of this album are pure poetry for the tortured souls. I am not exaggerating one bit, Nous has some of the most psychologically challenging lyrics I have read in a long time and they go hand in hand with the largely unsettling music. The voice spewing these lyrics forth is also tremendous; Daniel Jansson's blackened rasps, haunting chants, demented spoken word, and ritualistic murmurs evoke a uniquely eerie feeling.

According to the press release, Nous was born after difficult personal experiences involving disease and death, and the subsequent existential crises, and I can safely say that Culted have achieved to convey all that into this album. Nous has such a devastating character, it feels like a homage to the despair of existence itself. Even the cover art is a stunning piece of work; it is an interpretation by surrealist painter Ettore Aldo Del Vigo of the Temptation of Saint Anthony, who was one of the first monks to retire to the desert to devote himself to fasting and prayer, and the supernatural temptation reportedly faced by him is an often-repeated subject in the history of art and literature.

The sound of Nous is filthy, dirty, unclean. The music feels like Godflesh and Swans covering Neurosis songs. It is a doom dirge that is everchanging like a snake shedding its skin over and over. The melodic parts are scarce and they are as twisted as possible. The synths are disturbing and creepy. Culted's doom metal travels through sludgy swamps ("Lowest Class"), industrial wastelands ("Lifers"), discordant landscapes ("One Last Smoke"), groovy labyrinths ("Maze"), and droney, blood-soaked paths ("Crown Of Lies"), dragging the listener deeper and deeper into the abyss as it goes along. It is a horrifying journey whose first part is relatively more accessible, but the further you go into the album the more it sucks you in, and its second part is almost devoid of any hooks (with the exception of "Maze"), so it becomes more and more uncomfortable. The Godflesh cover that closes the record - with guest appearance from Crowhurst's Jay Gambit - is absolutely breathtaking and gives credit where credit is due.

Nous is a psychological endurance test. It's pure agony. It brings discomfort. It is emotionally draining. Its atmosphere is suffocating. But it draws you in, you feel like you want to keep coming back to it despite its ugliness. And it is a personal affair. I have to admit that it is not for everyone, and you have to be in a certain state of mind (or 'nous') and in the right mood to take it all in. It is so epic in scope and scale that it can feel overwhelming but, if you join this cult, there is no way back from it.

"One last drink to ease the pain. One last smoke to burn the lung".


 



Written on 18.03.2021 by Only way to feel the noise is when it's good and loud!


Comments

Comments: 7   Visited by: 77 users
18.03.2021 - 10:42
RaduP
CertifiedHipster
This crushes my soul alright
----
Serenity is no longer wishing you had a different past.

2021 goodies
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18.03.2021 - 10:53
nikarg
Mod
Written by RaduP on 18.03.2021 at 10:42

This crushes my soul alright

This is my favourite and most listened to album of the year so far.
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18.03.2021 - 10:54
RaduP
CertifiedHipster
Written by nikarg on 18.03.2021 at 10:53

This is my favourite and most listened to album of the year so far.

That's high praise
----
Serenity is no longer wishing you had a different past.

2021 goodies
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18.03.2021 - 11:34
Bad English
Tage Westerlund
Now we all are Doomed,. Whats dead, can not die.
----
Life is to short for LOVE, there is many great things to do online !!!

Stormtroopers of Death - ''Speak English or Die''

I better die, because I never will learn speek english, so I choose dieing
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18.03.2021 - 16:17
Deadsoulman
Ok Lumberjack
I always read the title as the French word "Nous", which means "we" or "us". I assumed it could make sense, since the band are Canadian (granted, I didn't know it was also a Greek word and I rarely care about the lyrics).

Anyway, this is a filthy little album right here. I especially enjoy the production, which is crushing in all the right places and just the right amount of raw and dirty. And those vocals sound like the singer is slowly descending into madness...
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18.03.2021 - 16:39
RaduP
CertifiedHipster
Written by Deadsoulman on 18.03.2021 at 16:17

I always read the title as the French word "Nous", which means "we" or "us". I assumed it could make sense, since the band are Canadian (granted, I didn't know it was also a Greek word and I rarely care about the lyrics).

I just had to re-read that part of the review because up until now I thought the same.
----
Serenity is no longer wishing you had a different past.

2021 goodies
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18.03.2021 - 20:33
nikarg
Mod
I am pretty sure they named the album after the Greek word. I believe I read about it somewhere too, but now I cannot find where right now. In any case it makes a lot more sense, the French translation would be too simplistic for this album both lyrically and musically.
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