Kult - _Winds of War_
(Debemur Morti Productions, 2006)
by: James Montague (7 out of 10)
Given that the promo flyer described _Winds of War_ as "a searing blast of harsh, apocalyptic black metal celebrating the downfall of humanity... the soundtrack to the end", I was somewhat taken aback to the reality of the opening passages. Slow, controlled tempos and a mournful tremolo drone -- sure, there's no doubt it's pure black metal, but blasting and apocalyptic? Actually, that was the second song. As it turns out, Italy's Kult run the gamut of second-wave Scandinavian black metal subgenres. One minute they're coasting along in the style of Burzum, then they're racing along the Gorgoroth expressway, then they're bumping and bounding along to the grooves of Carpathian Forest's offroad trails.

Here's where I should proclaim that Kult are innovators not followers, but fuck it. This music isn't original, and I don't really give a damn. They may be travelling a well-beaten path, but they're doing it really well. Songs like "Seven Blades (of the Reaper)" (that'd be one of the Carpathian Forest rockers) are proper fist-pumping anthems of pure thrashing black metal that never grow old. Also, Kult fulfil the fantasies of many a black metal fan with "Enstrangement", a high-octane ripper that keeps on going and never slows down for verses or choruses, because there are none -- it's entirely instrumental and entirely wicked.

The lack of originality and occasional lame riff -- "Il Crepuscolo" contains a bit of a stinker -- notwithstanding, _Winds of War_ shows a lot of promise and dedication to a noble cause. A worthy debut from a name worth remembering.

Contact: http://www.kult-band.com

(article published 15/4/2007)

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