[review] CULTED – Oblique to All Paths (2014)


Oblique to All Paths
(Relapse Records – 2014)

A band that’s based on two different continents needs to acquire a particular form to develop its sound and to able to release the music it’s creating. Fascinating enough, the thing with CULTED and the present record, it’s the fact that Daniel Jansson (vocals) has never met the other members of the band in person. They’ve always been working apart, one in Sweden and the others in Canada. That little detail of an ocean between them never proposed an obstacle for this band to move forward with their own way of seeing things and making music. This is their second full-length album and, I’m guessing, the major issue they had to work out was how to balance their intended control of sound with music’s own form and shape.

‘Illuminati’ starts off with a traditional sounding riff but soon steps in the realms of sonic engineering with ultra-saturated voice effects and feedbacks roaming free as the fade leads us into ‘Intoxicant Immuration’, an hypnotic distortive repetition supporting more of a lyrical narrative than a singing demonstration. There isn’t much singing happening on “Oblique to All Paths”. There’s only the presence of a doomed voice. Quite suitable for the soundtrack it shares company with. ‘Transmittal’ has many different moments where we can almost feel as we’re listening to an indie shoegaze band, up until the moment those suffering throat renderings bring us back to the real transmission we’re facing. And the hypnosis continues with ‘Jeremiad’ and its slow continuous pace, haunting voices switching from black spectral screams to eerie speaking tones.

This will appeal to every doom fan around, especially one with a keen affection for a more darkened setting around a modern interpretation of cold slow paced nightmares.

[reviewed by: Rui Marujo]


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