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Deathstars: The Perfect Cult

Goth/glam industrialists dig deeper into the dark

Their press release might refer to the "unwashed loins of lawless rock", and they might have stemmed from the black metal likes of Swordmaster, Opthalamia and Dissection, but Deathstars’ lavish chocolate cake layers of electronic/metallic production here form something a little more regal (complete with live drums – a recording first for the Swedes).

Add substantial cackles of dark metallic bite and you have a record that nods smilingly to their ‘Backstreet Boys from Hell’ history. Mixed and mastered by the knob-twiddlers behind Within Temptation, Volbeat and Rammstein, The Perfect Cult is a slick, symphonic-tinged industrial machine – with a trace of Eurovision in glossy, bouncy synth spurts, mingled with enough deep, horrorshow ‘Mwahahaa!’ vocals to make Till Lindemann blush.

Indeed, the cracking, big chord-blasting likes of Fire Galore are so Rammstein-esque you half wonder if Deathstars have an arsenal of fire cannons stored up. Vocalist Whiplasher has said the tracks are “about our lives… usually from a jet-black perspective,” yet they tap into their hard-sleaze credentials to create something of a ‘scary-fantasy’ vibe here – all those ‘devil’s toys’ and ‘temples of insects’ – with atmospheric electronics sparkling amid guitar beef in big-hitters like Asphalt Wings. Elsewhere the likes of single All The Devil’s Toys channel gothic, glam tones, pumped into life with industrial chords and a pretty chorus.

A cocktail of industrial synth, butch fretwork and devilish sentiments, The Perfect Cult is ridiculous and repetitive, but in the live arena you probably wouldn’t care.

Polly is Features Editor at Classic Rock magazine, where she commissions regular pieces and longer reads (including new band coverage) and writes a few things. She also writes for Louder, Prog and Metal Hammer, and talks about songs on the 20 Minute Club podcast. In her spare time she writes fiction and cooks.