Cultes Des Ghoules
Sinister


4.0
excellent

Review

by Gameofmetal STAFF
October 3rd, 2018 | 41 replies


Release Date: 2018 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Cultes Des Ghoules struggle to create something fully distinctive from their previous output, but the result is too immense to ignore.

It’s rare that a new Cultes Des Ghoules record finds me uncertain, but that’s the first feeling I greeted their fourth studio outing, Sinister, with. Cultes Des Ghoules have swiftly advanced from occult metal sideshow to one of my favorite contemporary black metal bands. Their reverence for first wave black metal comes off as both convincing and refreshing in the modern landscape, their output only getting better as more of their unique flavor appeared over time. Each of their monolithic LPs has its own distinctive flavor within their discography; Haxan translating a youthful aggression, Henbane conjuring an atmosphere of black magick ritualism, and Coven showcasing their ambition via an extreme metal theater play about New England witchcraft. At first glance, Sinister is hard to pin down. Is it a regression to their early years, lacking the obvious growth of their last two releases and perhaps signifying a drought of the creative juices?

The answer is somewhere between a yes and no. At least that’s where I’m at now. Sinister does simplify their formula down to a sound within their first two studio LPs, but there’s also something pure and new in the mix as well. The first few tracks are perplexing initially, opener “Children of the Moon” quite literally anchoring off a single rhythm for its entire runtime to the point where you’re wondering why there’s been only one riff playing for the last seven minutes. It’s a good riff to be fair, a beefy 80s style groove that dials in and doesn’t let the headbangers cease their aged ritual until the final moment. Synths ebb and flow over it, building up the atmosphere until the climax of a siren-like guitar lead brings it all crashing back down. It keeps you wondering what the goal is until you realize that it’s the purest amalgamation of black metal and ritualism to yet come from Cultes Des Ghoules, the base instruments keeping a tight, repetitive, darkly hypnotic rhythm while the extras build up the atmosphere and keep the song moving.

That’s not to say that the other four tracks follow the same pattern. “Woods of Power” is far more traditional in composition, featuring more obvious dynamics and amping the pace up from mid tempo headbanger to blast beat laden tremolo riffs. Little room is given to the calm, instead opting for fuzzy distortion and pounding drums, though “The Serenity of Nothingness” features a very memorable finale of clean bass noodling and tribal drums before getting back to business in “Where the Rainbow Ends”.

Surprisingly, it’s “Children of the Moon”, despite it’s repetitive nature, that impresses the most on subsequent listens though the other four cuts are more immediate. Where its kindred are immediate and exciting for most of their runtime, it’s the subtle commitment of the opener, the creative use of a centralized rhythm as the “ritual” that makes me think. Sinister is altogether unsurprising, stripping down a lot of what made Coven so magnetic for admittedly heavy and headbangable material. The ritualism is still there though and Cultes Des Ghoules still execute on their formula immaculately, but Sinister is somewhat disappointing all the same. Regardless, I would say that it’s a very good sign indeed that a disappointment still amounts to such an effective slab of occult black metal.



Recent reviews by this author
Horrendous IdolBosse-de-Nage Further Still
Thou MagusCarnation (BE) Chapel of Abhorrence
Progenie Terrestre Pura starCrossAmorphis Queen of Time
user ratings (15)
Chart.
3.5
great
related reviews

Coven

Henbane

Häxan

Comments:Add a Comment 
Gameofmetal
Staff Reviewer
October 3rd 2018


10386 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Worship with me brothers

Digging: Cultes Des Ghoules - Sinister

Colliiiin
October 3rd 2018


699 Comments


Cultes Des Ghoules are prob the best modern BM band, excited to hear this. Good review, I heard the "single" and had a feeling it'd be as you said, but ye this band does not release bad shit. Surprisingly tho I prefer Henbane/Haxan to Coven, how would you compare this to those ones?

Gameofmetal
Staff Reviewer
October 3rd 2018


10386 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

very similarly, it's a back to basics album for them, none of coven's theatricality.

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
October 3rd 2018


7990 Comments


Album opener's repetitive riff is the epitome of early '90s black metal.

Digging: Kevin Hufnagel - Messages To The Past

Hawks
October 3rd 2018


60821 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Fuck yes Game was waiting on this. m/



This is my fav CDG album. They’re all amazing but I can’t put this one down. Prob will be a 5 by the end of the year and my AOTY unless something drastic happens.

Digging: Sargeist - Unbound

SitruK6
October 3rd 2018


1373 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

m/ hawks

SitruK6
October 3rd 2018


1373 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

not sure what i would rate it yet.



gonna give it another go in like an hour

Gameofmetal
Staff Reviewer
October 3rd 2018


10386 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

kinda wanna discog review the band since ive covered all four LPs now, but the only one of the EPs I really wanna do is Spectres Over Transylvania

Hawks
October 3rd 2018


60821 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I love the raw/ritualistic feel of this one. Sounds like Mayhem on shrooms or something.

SitruK6
October 3rd 2018


1373 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Hawks have you jammed the Spectral Wound album that came out this year?

necropig
October 3rd 2018


4704 Comments


^ rules

Digging: Dodsrit - Spirit Crusher

Hawks
October 3rd 2018


60821 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Nope I’m gonna get on it.

necropig
October 3rd 2018


4704 Comments


Give Un and deletere a listen too

Hawks
October 3rd 2018


60821 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Will do. m/

zaruyache
October 3rd 2018


19706 Comments


ye give Un a jam. my respected colleagues say it's a hoot and a half.

Digging: Dakhma - Suna Kulto

Hawks
October 3rd 2018


60821 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Gonna jam both right now. m/

magicuba
October 3rd 2018


1322 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

this is not bad, it's the first LP I listen from them. Usually I am really not a fan of first wave BM inspired material, but the cultish bit sounds really good

Digging: Thou - The House Primordial

Evok
October 3rd 2018


7419 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Coven shreds it to dust

Digging: Obliteration - Cenotaph Obscure

Hawks
October 3rd 2018


60821 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Nah.

zaruyache
October 3rd 2018


19706 Comments


COVEN SHREDS IT TO DUST



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2017 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy