Cult Of Fire: Ascetic Meditation Of Death

Czech black metallers write their own script

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Back in the 80s, when what is now the Czech Republic was still a Soviet satellite (and still linked to Slovakia), Master’s Hammer and Root blazed a trail for black metal that was more than just Venom and Bathory worship. Dark, twisted and decidedly leftfield, their early work was hailed by those who forged the second wave.

Cult Of Fire are more than worthy to carry that torch. Less than a year after the release of Triumvirát, their second album is nothing less than a masterpiece. Taking their cues from the their fellow countrymen, the eight tracks, all titled in Sanskrit – hence not mentioned by name – summon the eerie Lovecraftian chaos of Morbid Angel’s Altars Of Madness and pair it with the epic melancholy of Drudkh’s Autumn Aurora, and all written with a sense of ambition that would have Deathspell Omega feeling small.

Far from just the usual rehash of the Sodom/Burzum Darkthrone/Blasphemy axis (which can be a great thing in itself), this is something very special.