Deathcult - _The Test of Time_
by: St. John Satansson (4 out of 5)
Uuuuuuurrgghh....I'm drunk. My face is numb and my guts quail in sheer malfeasance. The only thing I can taste is this Bombay Bad Boy Pot Noodle, which has burnt my tongue to a red, raw slug. I can't focus and I don't even know which way North is... oh wait... there it is. Trust in the the sounds of the faithful disaffected guide me back to Kriegsengard.

The artwork on Deathcult's _The Test of Time_ is deliciously DIY. It reads like a signpost: this way to the Underkult. The crude skulls and revenant beast that want your eyes for anal beads might have once bothered the sketchbook of a battlegame writer but thankfully they've found a home with something that doesn't require your parents picking you up at 4pm.

The riffs are dirty but chunk and pop up like old friends to say "hi-yo!" as the record takes you on a well-trodden path into the dark; a bit like going on that haunted house ride you've been on before. This is no bad thing, it serves a purpose and that purpose is to get you swinging your hair and gurning your corpsey-faces. Gallops and chugs abound, along with a few faster, slashier moments, such as on "Mutant Generation". Vocally, we have a mid-range gargle and rasp to digest, savage but controlled. If we imagine the love child of Jeff Walker and... well, some random black metal shriek owl, then we get a nice approximation. The vocals are commanding enough to lead the charge and convincing enough to entertain. "Hail the Antichrist" is a nice highpoint, with some sharper songwriting that cuts through the foggy miasma a little more than some of its siblings. There are a few moments where the aura of Slayer is conjured up by the infrequent lead motifs, which is a pleasure.

Deathcult are knocking out a wonderfully familiar noise. This is black 'n' roll with a shot of punkish vigour and a hefty slice of fuck-you standing in place of their progressive impulses. Want some nasty, rockin' blackish metal? Look no further than this group of moonbotherers. They've got buckets of what you want. Cold guitar tones? Check. Murky bass tones? Roger that. Clickety-clickin' drums? Jawohl. But wait... there's hooks too. Nice, groovy ones with serrated edges on 'em that keep you engaged against your will. Yes, you've heard this sort of thing before and you know better but that doesn't matter. Just 'cause you've listened to a lot of metal records doesn't mean you are above this. Get over yourself and bang your fucking head.


(article published 13/10/2013)

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