Though Cult of Fire hails from the Czech Republic, their influences are not what you would expect. This isn’t your typical Black Metal LP by a long shot. The band’s basic Bathory-esque assault has been copiously augmented by inspirations culled from Hindu mystical traditions, literature and music. There’s lots of chanting, Indian musical instruments, and song structures that are not normally found in European Black Metal all over this album, and those are the things that give Cult of Fire a sound that’s pretty unique. I like how the band was able to incorporate outside ideas into Black Metal in a way that’s still dark and evil sounding, but at the same time has a different atmosphere from the others in the genre. What makes this so good is the fact that Cult of Fire has melded Indian/Hindu mystical imagery and sound into their music in a way that sounds natural. None of the additions to the basic Bathory-influenced Black Metal style sound tacked on or out of place. As an added bonus, it also kicks all kinds of ass. For a band that uses Hindu mystical influences, this is remarkably aggressive, which is something that I didn’t expect. When I see anyone involved in the Hindu religion, they’re usually the most passive, mellow people imaginable. Cult of Fire, though, rages like a psychotic wolverine hell-bent on shredding you into little pieces. I’m definitely looking forward to hearing more from this group because their music is an interesting twist on the Black Metal style that’s both distinctly different from other bands in the genre and induces extensive amounts of neck damage at the same time.
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