Showing posts with label Cult Of Damned. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Cult Of Damned. Show all posts

Thursday, 31 December 2020

My Top 10 Music Discoverys In 2020

The one thing you can count on is music! Whatever is happening in the world there never seems to be a shortage of good records, new and old. Each year I aim to discover new artists and each year I seem to reflect that I should of done more. What is becoming more prevalent here on the blog is "rediscovering" old artists, going back over there catalogs and immersing myself in music enjoyed many moons ago, often finding songs that slipped between the cracks and getting a richer sense of the musicians behind it all. That will continue this year no doubt and I've included one in the list again!

(10) Bolt Thrower

I believe it was a cover of a Bolt Thrower song that lured me onto this British Death Metal outfit. I'd heard of them plenty over the years and checking them out I loved the mid-tempo crushing and subtle sense of groove. Straight forward songs that grab you with a mighty aesthetic that steamrolls its way forward. I will throw another record of theirs on the playlist for the coming year!
(9) Malcolm Home
Warm bright and jazzy, these Jazz Hop beats and there fusion with synth tones make for inviting music. Whats also interesting is finding him through a different medium livestreaming on Twitch. Its not the normal way I find new music but anyway Is a good way and I hear a lot of potential in the best songs on the debut record. One to keep an eye on for more music in the future!
(8) Clipping
Unfortunately I can't revel in the praise others have thrown on this unique group. Having enjoyed their catalog now, Ive got a good sense of what they are about. Its a different experience, one that doesn't quite click with me but undoubtedly I will follow them closely in the future, if not for intriguing music but hopefully something will snap into place and I can enjoy them on another level.

(7) The Crystal Method
Its only the one record so far but their debut Vegas instantly snapped into place with that 90s feel of Electronica and Big Beat. Its stuck with me as a record for a particular mood and can put on and fall into. Will throw another onto next years playlist.

(6) Backxwash
Already in My Top Albums Of 2020 list, Backxwash makes it to this one too for having a highly competent and interesting flow. Given how stylistically directed this project was, I can't help but feel their talents with rapping can go beyond it. As I often say, one to follow and keep an eye on for whats next.

(5) Cult Of The Damned
A random stumble on Youtube and I was immediately hooked! I must admit I'm not sure this Rap collective have the lasting power but their flavor is spicy and exciting. I've been binging them a lot and it looks like new material is on the horizon for 2021.

(4) Old Sorcery
If ever Dungeon Synth feels explored in and out, something comes along to shake things up. Not only does Old Sorcery infuse some fantastical old school synth ideas but in the process crafts some really wonderful songs. The latest turn into Black Metal doesn't yield the same excitement for me so I am hoping for a return to roots with the next project so to speak.

(3) Bathory

Of all the nostalgic dives into music from my youth, Bathory has been the best of them all. Not only did I get a fuller picture of what I already loved but found a bunch of new gems and got a real sense of the artist and their journey through some tepid times in the 90s. Although a career cut tragically short, it ended on a high with the Nordland records I had barely touched back when I discovered this massively influential artist in the world of dark and extreme music.

(2) Ocean Grove

They have my album of the year but were also a fun discovery to dive into their debut record an EPs. I actually found them right around the release of this sophomore record. Initially a rather run of the mill Metalcore outfit, their jumpy evolution seems to have blossomed into a beastly brew of sunny energy just fit for my tastes. I'm left itching for more.

(1) Grimes
 I'd heard of Grimes quite some time ago and only this year got around to her music. Art Angels sucked me in and I absolutely adore its vibes. Alongside Flip Phone Fantasy its been my must spun record of the year. Her voice is a wonder and the playful vibes are uplifting and warming. Her earlier catalog is more experimental, less charming but fun. With Miss Anthropocene she dipped toes into a darker tone in places. Not quite as killer but I hope she can hit her stride again in the future.

Saturday, 12 December 2020

Cult Of The Damned "Part Deux" (2018)


Following up on a dazzling debut EP, three years later on, the Cult Of The Damned collective take their straight running of verses to the album format. Eleven tracks at fifty three minutes, Part Deux takes a moment to find its stride but ultimately delivers on deviously creative raps delving into the underworld of drug abuse and poverty among other adult subjects. Kicking off with its title track, nine British voices bring some of their finest rhymes to set slick vibes, rapping over a Noir Jazz bass line sample shimmied along by a soft but steady drum loop. Its a dynamic opening.

Unfortunately the pace fumbles on the next two songs as beat production explores similar vibes with estranged sampling presenting some challenging tones that don't quite gel with the energy of these hungry rappers. Track four, The Usual, then pivots, bringing in hook and chorus, a rarity for this group. The song tributes drug abuse and binge drinking, playing out like a mad bender, going through a wild series of events as two of the collectives best, Tony Broke and Bill Shanks, exchange verses.

From here on, temperaments change. From The Depths is a moody, rain soaked, gloomy number for self reflection, similar to the sombre vibes of Coffee later on. Never No brings a little uplift with a lively percussive loop playing up mischievous vibes reflected in its lyrics. The two again toy with hooks, it suits them well when applied sparingly. All these instrumentals have a similar subdued energy, not looking for flash and effect but timely beats with softer grooves and jazzy samples with a few layers that brood moods fit for repetition as the expansive vocabulary and creativity of these rhyme styles have this Hip Hop head playing the record on repeat.

With only a couple minor fumbles, the group have brought a little more structure with Barebase narrating subtle track concepts at start and end of some songs. The occasional use of choruses too, its all timely and with a cohesive set of beats the endless stack of verses, it runs like a stream of curiosity to pick apart. Loaded with references, skewed annunciations, witty word bending and satirical intent, the talent oozes but just like last time, some voices stand firmer. Overall though the rising tide has brought all boats with it. Records like these have legs and although new music from this ensemble is on the horizon, it seems I'll have to dig into more from these UK artists.

Rating: 7/10

Saturday, 28 November 2020

Cult Of Damned "Cult Of The Damned" (2015)

Have I found my new obsession? I think so! Cult Of Damned are a UK rap collective set to hypnotize with slick liquid flows flaunting twisted flamboyant flavors of gritty street rhymes. Not to be confused with Grime, these are some northern and southern Brits uniting to bring the distinct voices of the British isles without resembling Grime annunciations. One similarity came immediately to mind, Odd Future's Oldie classic. Devoid of hooks, a chorus or recurring structures, every track follows the premise of MC's taking turns to drop fragrant verses over a droning loop that barely changes from start to end of these lengthier tracks for Hip Hop music. Its made me appreciate how much I love this approach first pioneered by The Wu-Tang Clan.

The power of a beat that can last the duration is impressive but given direct focus these instrumentals aren't exactly bangers. Stripped to necessity with minimal complexity and brief variations, there low key nature simply sets a tone for the fun rhyme schemes to keep you engaged. That's where the charm is at. With quite a few voices I'm still getting accustomed with, they all share something in common, a steady pace and audible presence that lets you catch all the twists and slurs of wordings. Among those voices are a couple weak links but also some significant talent cropping up in regular intervals to keep the flow moving between less impressive rhymes.

The overall style is wordplay. Zany, wild and absurd, anything goes from acrobatic linguistics, to street wise puns and boasting. With moments of sleaze, violence and drug abuse the topicality is all over the place as narratives have loose association and freedom to jump where the rhymes lead. Its a fun ride with plenty of favorite loose lines and funky verses to pluck from these twenty two debut minutes. "Claustrophobic in open space" a fun reversal that catches my ear each time. Its a loaded listen given the record is straight back to back rhymes with barely a moment of pause.

The characters that occupy this space through the verses feel mildly wild and unhinged, a playful dance with madness that makes for many a self deploring moments. Invested in this sound, its easy to gloss over flaws. Although these rhymes are clearly worked over and crafted the quality bar is varied with some MCs continually outshining others. Some refinement would elevate this record. The beats too, although very much to my liking with slow paced, dark 90s vibes, they too drone to effect but I wonder how much I'll tolerate that repetition with time. Its clearly done by design but I do think the spark could fade. Or perhaps I am just going to binge this to death? Right now I'm loving it and ready to move on to the collectives debut album.

Rating: 6/10