Music Review: Cultes Des Ghoules CD: Henbane

Music Review: Cultes Des Ghoules

CD: Henbane

Label: Hells Headbangers

Release: April 16th 2013


In the spirit of full disclosure for this review I have to admit, I have never been a Black Metal fan.  Through the years I have tried to be interested in the genre and look at it from a heavy metal fans perspective.  But to no avail.  I just could not get into this form of music in any way.  I admit I think their subject matter of devil worship, ancient gods, spell craft, dark covens and the medieval imagery they use are things that would normally draw me in but ultimately the nature of the music is just not for me.

Now, all this being said, since I started Skullbanger Media I wanted to branch out and be open to different sounds and be subjective when I review bands from the Black Metal scene.  I know this genre has fans like any other genre of metal and the genre has survived for a reason.  People like this form of music.

Did I find anything with Cultes Des Ghoules recent offering of bombastic Black Metal that I found interesting?  Even for a non believer such as myself?  Actually I did find a few things that I somewhat enjoyed.

The thing that strikes me about Black Metal bands is that they strive to set the atmosphere of evil and horror in their music.  Well at least to me that seems to be one of their driving motivations.  Cultes Des Ghoules’ Henbane is no exception.  Within the albums 5 tracks you have spoken monologues in raspy vocals and menacing tones.  Some of this I could see being in an old horror exploitation movies from the 70’s, also some of the vocals also didn’t convey any sense of fear and I found a little silly sounding.  So some of this was hit and miss for me.

The other thing I found I did enjoy on the album were moments in some of the tracks that were more slow and atmospheric sounding with the use of the tribal sounding drums you hear in the track, ‘Vintage Black Magic’ that I thought was reminiscent to Venom’s ‘In League With Satan’.  The song Festival of Devotion also offers some interesting atmospheric musical elements as well.  However all the songs run at least 9 minutes and are filled the Black Metal stables of blast beat drumming and chaotic guitar work at ear melting speed that make a for a long drawn out process for me.

I think if I was at a bar or show and Cultes Des Ghoules came on to play I would stick around for I  see how a live performance could be an interesting thing to see and would love the opportunity to see how it would play out.  Also, being a photographer I would love the visual aspect of such a show.

I can’t say that Cultes Des Ghoules won me over to the Black Metal Legions but I will say I found a few bits in their music that didn’t send me running either and I found elements of the music interesting as well.

Also, I welcome any constructive comments below that may help me better understand this genre better.  So Fire Away!

Side Note: Normally I would give a number review but I don’t think I am educated enough in this genre for that alone to be a fair critique of this band.   The fact I’m not a fan of this genre a number review would be purely from my personal taste for Black Metal, since that would be all I would have to draw from, and that wouldn’t be entirely fair to the band or the fans of the genre.


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