Review: Cult of Extinction – Black Nuclear Magick Attack

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Label: Sentient Ruin Laboratories

On the whole, war metal is a difficult genre to get right. The core sound is so well defined, and its atmosphere so overwhelming, that any considerable deviations from its grinding, fire-blasted riffs, bulldozing drums, and vomited vocals risks breaking the spell, either by taking the music in to a different genre completely; or simply by becoming a confused mess. And yet there’s little room for innovation, with bands often relying on abstract aspects of music – conviction and atmosphere, chiefly – in order to impress. This is an important context to keep in mind when I say that Cult of Extinction have made war metal sound as thrilling as it ever has with their demo, Black Nuclear Magick Attack, a relentlessly vicious 13 minutes of nuclear devastation and demonic wrath.

There is a sense of lawlessness and chaos running through Black Nuclear Magick Attack, a feeling of unrestrained violence and unholy energy that brings to mind the likes of Blasphemy, Revenge, and (especially) Blasphemophager. Those are lofty comparisons, especially for a demo tape, but Cult of Extinction warrant them. The riffs move with bestial strength and purpose, conjuring hellscapes of ruined cities and blackened landscapes; the drums are, even during the comparatively restrained sections, an all-destroying onslaught of rampaging hordes; whilst the vocals are throat-ravaged, demonic invocations, conveying not so much words as they do sound and primal emotions.

As this implies, the atmosphere of the demo is absolutely superb. These four songs conjure the kind of devastation that war and bestial metal so often strive for but fall short of, enhanced by a raw – yet strong – production, that belies the fact that Cult of Extinction is a one-man band. There’s also plenty of actual riffs within the chaos, with slower moments providing not only the contrast necessary for this style of music to succeed; but also the kind of hooks that practically demand head-banging and raised fists.

Though only short, Black Nuclear Magick Attack is a very exciting release, providing a real burst of high-quality war metal. There is plenty of evidence contained within these four songs to suggest that Cult of Extinction should have little trouble recording a full-length of comparable quality, and I very much look forward to hearing what the band release next. Devastatingly vicious and possessed of undeniable strength of purpose, this is the sound of extinction put to tape.

Black Nuclear Magick Attack is due for release on 30 March 2018. It can be pre-ordered on cassette and vinyl at the Sentient Ruin webstore; and digitally via Bandcamp

 

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