Album of the Day: Cult Leader – Lightless Walk

Cult Leader - Lightless Walk - cover

Label: Deathwish Inc

Plenty of words have been written about how Cult Leader came to be, arising from the ashes of Gaza – and I don’t plan on writing any more about them here. The past is over, and Cult Leader is the now. Well, sort of. It has been roughly two and a half years since the release of Lightless Walk, and I’m holding out for more new music from the metallic, technical hardcore titans amongst their constant touring. The album was an absolute blast, building on the promise of their Useless Animal and Nothing For Us Here EPs, full of righteous fury and music that is as exhilarating as it is punishing.

Combining the hard-hitting nature (both emotionally and musically) with later-day Converge with the raw muscularity of metalcore (by which I mean Integrity rather than more modern variants), Lightless Walk is a 36 minute blast that absolutely races by, packed with twists, turns – and subtle hooks of melody. It’s the later element that really helps the album stand out, giving listeners something to latch on to amid the otherwise all-engulfing chaos that characterises the album, and also helps give it added emotional poignancy. Just listen to ‘Sympathetic’ and you’ll see what I mean – as impressive as its technical punishment is, it’s the short, melodic guitar lines that give the song its power, and make the closing beatdown section all the more effective for the sense of contrast. Such intelligence is why I so desperately want to hear more from Cult Leader, as theirs is music that hits hard in every way possible.

Lightless Walk is available on vinyl, CD, and cassette from Deathwish Inc and Deathwish EU; and digitally via Bandcamp. It can also be streamed on Spotify.


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