Blood Cult- We are the Cult of the Plains

By Chris Dahlberg

Published on Sunday, April 4, 2010

If you look around the Internet, you will find varying opinions on US black metal band Blood Cult. The group, which combines elements of traditional black metal with southern rock and some other experimental styles has found a cult audience while also attracting plenty of negative criticism. The band’s newest release We are the Cult of the Plains finds them continuing to head off in a completely different direction from everyone else, and chances are that if you enjoyed their previous material you will like this effort.

The vocals on We are the Cult of the Plains are handled by bassist Justin H. and Reverend J.R. Preston (who you may also know from Tjolgtjar). This means that the vocals are very distorted and alternate between extremely high pitched shrieks and some lower pitched growls. Anyone who has listened to Tjolgtjar or any of the other bands that have Blood Cult connections should know that the mixing/mastering on these albums can often leave the vocals sounding as though they are off in the background and not the focal point of the music, and this is certainly the case here. Provided that you are okay with that and can get into the bizarre shrieking style that Preston utilizes then you will be able to appreciate the album.

Blood Cult’s instrumentals really push the limits of what can really be considered black metal at times, and this is likely what is going to make them a love or hate kind of band for a lot of people. While there are some riffs that are reminiscent of the traditional version of the genre the instrumentalists spend a lot of time exploring southern rock and country rock styles (the song “Illinoisan Altar” even sounds as though it has taken some inspiration from psychobilly/rockabilly). Seeing as a lot of black metal fans tend to be fairly rigid in what they listen to, it is easy to see why a lot of people could be turned off. But if you’re willing to investigate a little further and really tune in to what the group is doing, it is easy to see that there is a little more depth to this music than you might expect.

We are the Cult of the Plains is definitely an acquired taste, and it is highly recommended that you sample some of this material before committing to it. The majority of people that check this out probably aren’t going to fully understand it, but if you’re open minded enough this is going to be an album that you listen to and enjoy the hell out of. Moribund Records should be given a lot of credit for picking this band up as they really are different from everything else out there.

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