Cultes Des Ghoules
Henbane


4.5
superb

Review

by Gameofmetal STAFF
July 25th, 2015 | 57 replies


Release Date: 2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Dark, brutal, transcendental, and ultimately unforgettable.

You don’t have to listen to the entirety of the opening cut from Cultes Des Ghoules’ Henbane to get just what the band’s all about. “Idylls of the Chosen Damned” is thirteen minutes of raucous first wave black metal fury that makes it seem like Bathory never turned their backs on the style. The Polish outfit takes everything that defined the earliest strains of black metal and packages it together for 2013 with a filthy bow on top. Instead of the trebly guitars of early Ulver and Darkthrone, we get the bass-heavy, thumping rhythms straight out of a Beherit record, along with that particular band’s ritualistic atmospheres. Harsh snarls and moans echo over the instruments hauntingly, reminiscent of Attila’s performance on Mayhem’s debut. Henbane really is a wet dream for anyone aching for the glory days of the first wave, without being just a revival of the old sound. Cultes Des Ghoules wrap all these varied attributes up into something both nostalgic and old school, as well as fresh and modern, to make one of the best black metal records of the 2010s.

“Idylls of the Chosen Damned” is where the band pours a good portion of their overall aggression, with fast tempos and pounding riffs taking center stage. It’s refreshing to see black metal forged of fuzzy, crushing riffs rather than the hypnotic tremolos that defined the second wave. “The Passion of a Sorceress” is almost the exact opposite of the opener in many respects. There’s several moments where Cultes Des Ghoules kicks it back into overdrive for blast beating madness, but the main riff that comprises most of the track is slow and brooding, pounding across in a nocturnal haze. The dynamic between slow and fast moments proves to be one of the band’s strengths, as they manage each to near equal levels of quality. What really makes Henbane so bewitching though is the emphasis on atmosphere above all. Throughout the album there are moments of dark ambiance, ritualistic drum beats, occult moaning, all these features that lead to a wholly unsettling experience. The album sounds like it could be the soundtrack to a night of black witchery and devilish sacrifices, and it’s safe to assume that’s what the band was going for, judging from song titles like “Vintage Black Magic” and “The Devil Intimate”. What’s equally clear is that Henbane is captivating from start to finish, due to not just the atmosphere, but the sum of all the parts that comprise this record.

Whether basking in thrashing black metal bliss or indulging their more ominous and measured side, Cultes Des Ghoules excel at creating something totally their own. The parts are essentially cherry picked from across black metal’s history (Mayhem’s vocals, Bathory’s guitars, Beherit’s atmosphere), but the spin is all their own. For all these reasons, Henbane is surely an underappreciated modern black metal classic with loads to love, but not just for the first wave kids alone.



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user ratings (89)
Chart.
4
excellent
other reviews of this album
Vetimus (4.5)
Bizarre, weird, traditional black metal classic....


Comments:Add a Comment 
Gameofmetal
Staff Reviewer
July 25th 2015


10522 Comments

Album Rating: 4.8 | Sound Off

For snox



fucking love this album



also yea it's been 24 plus hours since my last review, I guess there haven't been many reviews today so that's why it's still on the homepage.

Hawks
July 25th 2015


68364 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Pos'd hard bro.



Album slays. m/

Digging: Akasha - Canticles of the Sepulchral Deity

Gameofmetal
Staff Reviewer
July 25th 2015


10522 Comments

Album Rating: 4.8 | Sound Off

Album slays. m/ [2]

zaruyache
July 25th 2015


20540 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

blak metaaahl

Gameofmetal
Staff Reviewer
July 25th 2015


10522 Comments

Album Rating: 4.8 | Sound Off

come onnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn



a 3

zaruyache
July 25th 2015


20540 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

ikr i'm bad at this game, but I don't really like old Mayhem either.

Gameofmetal
Staff Reviewer
July 25th 2015


10522 Comments

Album Rating: 4.8 | Sound Off

im honestly not too big on mayhem either but i eat this, and all the first wave shit up

Hawks
July 26th 2015


68364 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Mayhem has, and still does, rule so hard. Only one of their albums is a dud imo.

Mort.
Contributing Reviewer
July 26th 2015


14175 Comments


great review man, posd

Digging: Husker Du - New Day Rising

Gameofmetal
Staff Reviewer
July 26th 2015


10522 Comments

Album Rating: 4.8 | Sound Off

and there's the snox brand of approval i needed

SCREAM!
July 26th 2015


15756 Comments


occult moaning


Lol

Gameofmetal
Staff Reviewer
July 26th 2015


10522 Comments

Album Rating: 4.8 | Sound Off

it sounds fucking weird but it's awesome

SCREAM!
July 26th 2015


15756 Comments


Nah I've heard this and know exactly what he's talking about but the term is still funny

Evreaia
July 26th 2015


5081 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

i lurv this album

zaruyache
July 26th 2015


20540 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

speaking of kvlt bm that I actually like, new stuff from Ash Borer side projects Serum Dreg and Uškumgallu both rule.

zaruyache
July 26th 2015


20540 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

triumvir was good too, but I think the two bm projects are >>>>>>>

they just do raw cavernous bm so well.

Gameofmetal
Staff Reviewer
July 26th 2015


10522 Comments

Album Rating: 4.8 | Sound Off

still need to listen to ash borer's first album, only heard cold of ages

zaruyache
July 26th 2015


20540 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

Check it now. It absolutely destroys that album.

Vetimus
August 2nd 2015


809 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This band or Negative plane? I cant decide.

zaruyache
August 2nd 2015


20540 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

Negative Plane >>>>>>>>>



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