Cultist – “Slow Suicide” : Album Review



Cultist, a Christian heavy metal band from southern California’s Inland Empire have released their first LP “Slow Suicide” under the banner of Facedown Records on the 21st July 2023. Having previously released 2 EPs and 3 unattached singles, the framework of the band is unquestionably west coast beatdown hardcore with plenty of east coast influence, giving significant weight to their sound and amplified by lyrical gravity. They pull deathcore-style threads from The Last Ten Seconds of Life, dark metalcore vibes from Varials, and combine it with the raw heaviness.

“Slow Suicide” opens up the album, as it plunges on with heavy guitar chugs meddled with screeching vocals with varied drum beats oscillating between rock and blast beats. The guitar chugs continue throughout the breadth of the song maintaining a solid attack with craftly interludes bringing about eerie tones. “Preacher III” carries on the formulaic from its predecessor, it layers on slow guitar chugs with a rumbling bass and screeches on muted guitars. The vocal delivery toggles between screeching and guttural styled vocals which surely brings about a ghastly aftereffect to the song.

With “Memento Mori” the deathcore shenanigans are met with slight melodies on the guitar before treading back to their signature sound. I liked the drums on this track, as I saw little experimentation that differentiated this song from the rest. The drums reminded me a bit of Slayer’s “Gemini”, not a like for like comparison, but more on the lines of standing out from the other instruments. “Hell of My Design” jumps on with similar energy, adding a few breakdowns in its delivery but staying nonetheless on a similar format as its predecessors. The vocals blare out throughout the course of the song with crafty breakdown on the guitars, still lacking new arrangements.

Now “I Fear your Silence” brings about something fresh with its Intro, and soon we hear heavy guitar chops that meddles well with the barraging vocals. The guitars take on a doom riff and use it well within the deathcore elements. “Suffering By My Own Hand” rumbles on the bass and uses it as the backbone to drive the song. Deathcore guitar chugs resonate well with Cymbals that are omnipresent on the song and bring about dissonance which sounds great.

“Let Me Feel Everything” has a brutal onset with guttural vocals plummeting on scalding guitars riffs and overtly classic rock drum rolls.  The song ends with a crafty and melodic outro. The album ends with “Last Breath of a Dying God” as it chops its way through a slow guitar chug and a scream that’s going to scare the crap out of you. This song has a solid guitar riff to its credit that brings us to its interlude which then takes the guitar phrasing and carries it on till the end of the song, and ends the album with a bang.

Production – I wasn’t a big fan of the Production, Mastering and Mixing on this album. I felt as if the tones weren’t balanced and there were jarred overtones that could be heard. At times, the drums didn’t feel crisp and felt a bit damp which I felt was the highlight on this album.

Conclusion – This album could be a hit or miss for a lot of people. I feel the band has a lot of promise, but making music in the realms of Deathcore doesn’t leave a lot of room for improvisation. The fans who are immersed with their style would definitely love the album, as for the others – Give it a spin if you like Deathcore.

Rating: 7/10

Written by: Ankit Sood

Band Members:

  • Jon Davenport – Vocals
  • Stephen Morin – Guitar
  • Elias Clark – Guitar
  • Michael Messer – Bass
  • Tyler Ontriveros – Drums

Track Listing:

  1. Slow Suicide
  2. Preacher III
  3. Memento Mori
  4. Hell of my Design
  5. I fear your Silence
  6. Suffering By My Own Hand
  7. Let Me Feel Everything
  8. Last Breath of a Dying God

Release Date: July 21, 2023

Record Label: Facedown Records

Social MediaFacebook / Spotify

Video (audio) for ‘Hell of my Design’

Video (audio) for ‘Preacher III’

Video (audio) for ‘Suffering By My Own Hand’

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