We’re supposed to be scared of Armageddon, right? Me and religion have been kind of distant ever since I took my Confirmation money and peaced the fuck out, but I’m pretty certain I remember that much. Fire, brimstone, roving gangs of demons playing pin the tail on the sinner with white-hot pitchforks. I get the distinct impression this holy father guy has some temper issues. And given that the dude apparently knows all and sees all, I could be in a lot of trouble. Still, if the end of the world sounds anything like Cult Of Endtime’s new album, In Charnel Lights, then at least the soundtrack will be good.
The death-doom (or possibly doom-death) group have cultivated a sound that absolutely crushes, a combination of death metal sprint and doom metal stomp that manages to live up to the band’s name by evoking the sound of the earth cracking open to swallow itself. The marriage of the two is artfully handled, the hybrid sound using riffs from both styles to create dynamic contrast while also playing deathy grinding riffs at a glacial doom pace for some wickedly heavy moments. The band have a fantastic riff-writing ability, using variations on a theme to make the songs feel coherent while also making each variation distinctive enough that the music doesn’t feel like it’s dragging on and to keep heads bobbing throughout. This focus on writing a great song extends beyond the riffs Songs clock in around the five or six minute mark, long enough to let the songs breathe and evoke a genuine atmosphere of fear and violence but short enough to avoid the problem some doom and sludge can have with over-indulgence. Overlaid with a deep gurgling growl and backed by a drummer who ably switches between styles on the fly, the end result is a polished gem. Strangely, for an album with such deep ties to the doom genre, In Charnel Lights is great fun throughout its whole running time. This is music to party to, if your friends are that cool, and to rock out to alone if they’re not. Either way, it’s a blast.
Cult Of Endtime deserve your time, your respect and maybe even your money if you’re feeling so kind. You can stream their opus for free here if you’re feeling curious and bag yourself a copy on iTunes if it’s to your liking.