Originally written by Erik Thomas
Should this be reviewed here? Not only will it arouse the “This is not metal” elitists, but also the anti reissue league, as this is a re-release of the bands 2003 album with a few bonus tracks and a video. Wow.
If there is something of notice to metal fans, Slayer drummer Dave Lombardo appears on the tracks that have percussion (5 or so), so that may quell your anger. However, for me ever since Apocalyptica’sgroundbreaking 1996 debut that reworked classic Metallica tracks with 4 cellos, I simply can’t get around them performing their own material as they have here on Cult and the recent self titled album. Of course the fact this band is responsible for numerous awful string tributes to Slayer, Iron Maiden, Staind, Korn, Incubus, Evanescence and every other band under the sun, I have small axe to grind with this lot.
Are they talented? Yes. Can they coax sounds out of their cello’s that are more metal than anything playing on MTV right now? Yes. Would I listen to this stuff at any other time than when my wife is in the car or before I’m about to make the sex (she LOVES the Metallica covers by the way)? ‘Fraid not. Even with Dave Lombardo occasionally bashing skins around the swirling, layered, admittedly guitar sounding cellos, I’m just not drawn in beyond being superficially impressed with the initial gimmick of their allure. Granted, early tracks “Prologue (Apprehension)”, “No Education”, “Somewhere Around Nothing” “Drive” are a pretty rollicking initial numbers considering the instruments used, but if I want metal, I will buy a metal album. I prefer Apocalyptica when making somber noises that cello’s are supposed to make like on “Faraway”, “Cohkka” and “Conclusion” and such. The moody, depressive tones are just more befitting the atmosphere the cello imbues rather than the forced ‘metal’ of tracks like “Toreador II”. Closer “Epilogue” defines what I enjoy about this band and is just that much more effective and evocative.
The bonus tracks aren’t much to write home about, demo versions of “Kellot” and “Deep Down Ascend” and an extended version vocal version of “Faraway” as well as the video track. So if you have the original release, this seems fairly needless, even more so that they released a brand new album this year also.
Now you must excuse me, the wife beckons.