Cult Of Fire debut new track
As a vested member of the black metal community, I see a fair amount of talk about how the genre is stale and lacking in innovation with nothing pushing it forward. And as a vested member of the black metal community, I think that view is a load of bollocks.
There are quite a few black metal bands that are pushing the genre into new and interesting directions. One regional scene doing that fairly consistently is the Czech scene, which started out with the mighty Master’s Hammer way back in 1987. Though Master’s Hammer are still chugging along fairly well, there is a newer entrant to the Czech Republic’s black metal ranks that has been making waves. I am talking, of course, about Cult of Fire.
Lead by drummer Tom Coroner of Lykathea Aflame fame (Lykathea A-Fame?), they have released a demo and two full length albums to date. 2013′s मृत्यु का तापसी अनुध्यान - which translates as Ascetic Meditation of Death - fused their style with some intriguing eastern influences and garnered excellent reviews, landing on more than a few top albums of the year lists.
One year later and the band have created another release for us, this time in the form of an EP called Čtvrtá Symfonie Ohně or The Fourth Symphony of Fire and written in homage to Czech composer Bedřich Smetana. One of his most famous works, Má vlast (“My Homeland”), is a six part symphonic cycle which portrays the history, legends and landscape of the composer’s native land. The second part of this is called “Vltava”
“Vltava” is also the name of the first song that Cult of Fire wrote for this new EP, and it is available for streaming now:
The eastern influences that were melded into their last album are gone and appropriately replaced with a deep sense of central European musical aesthetic. It’s a dramatic work of melodic epic black metal, utilising a very classical-esque approach to writing. It’s fittingly reminiscent of the symphonic piece that it is named for, prideful and majestic, while conveying a deep sense of national identity. The main theme of the song is beautiful, laced as it is over the furious rush of blast beats, and the song closes out with some added organs in the grande finale.
If there is one thing I find disagreeable about it, it is the mixing. There is a slight issue with some of the high end being a bit too harsh, a problem I also noticed on their last release. It doesn’t affect the music too much, but it can be noticeable. Some might suggest that complaining about the mix of a black metal song is silly, but I would counter with the thought that black metal this ambitious should be mixed like it.
Ultimately, this is an excellent song, and I look forward to hearing the other part of this two-song EP.
Čtvrtá Symfonie Ohně is out December 8th via Iron Bonehead