Chuck Schuldiner Project

Friday, February 12, 2021

Culted - Nous

I clearly remember the release of Culted's last record, Oblique To All Paths in 2014. It was a stunning blackened doom offering that gleefully salted the wound of existence. Then there was 5 years of silence until 2019's Vespertina Synaxis - A Prayer For Union & Emptiness EP. It seemed to offer a taste of the crushing heaviness I was craving. Now the band is back with another full length, the absolutely devastating Nous, a record that crushes with its massive guitar sounds and punishing sonic blasphemies. It's the logical next step for these modern masters. 

Nous stuns not just with its emotional depth but also the dark and brooding soundscapes that come to define tracks like 'The Grid.' Yes there are big riffs that drag you to hell but there are also moments of harsh noise punishment that leave you questioning your very reality. It's a weird balance to figure out and the deeper you delve the more unclear it becomes. This is a devastating offering to say the least and the weird layers and tortured ululations really speak to the bands distinct ability to expose the listener to their own personal torment. There is a sense of despair here that hits home, that there is no hope and we're just stuck left to suffer. 

The point being - Culted are really good and Nous is a massive step forward for the band. This is a record that can't help but to leave you clawing at your eyes, but that's part of the demented charm. There's a lot of replayability here. Especially with regards to how the different elements interact. In some ways the bands ability to meld noise with crushing blackened doom is reminiscent of acts like Primitive Man. It leaves me wondering what is to come next from this international project. They've done something twisted and special, the next steps will be punishing. 

Pre-order the album!

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