Cult Leader’s debut full-length, “Lightless Walk”, has to be one of the loudest and most vicious albums I’ve heard all year. When they aren’t busy playing some of the most abrasive chords known to man accompanied by booming drums, they unleash hell and let their songs border on utter chaos. Opening track “Great I Am” only lasts 85 seconds, but that’s plenty of time for these guys to sink their claws in you and drag you into the bleak and dark landscape where these Salt Lake City dudes dwell.
From there on, they continue to pummel your ass for ten more songs with blastbeats and manic howls, until all that’s left of you is a quivering, blubbering shell. Even when they do slow down in a song like “A Good Life”, they still are creepy as fuck, with vocalist Anthony Lucero sounding not unlike Nick Cave fronting a doomy sludge band. As if to compensate for the lack of speed on that one, they follow “A Good Life” with two of the fastest tracks on the album, “Walking Wasteland” and “Gutter Gods”, both of which are downright brutal. No, make that über-brutal.
And it all leads up to the album’s title track, which gets to round out this monster. At over seven minutes, you could try and make a case that the song’s plodding pace and atmospheric guitars gets boring in the end. But you’d be wrong. If you are into albums that make you squirm and leave you slightly disheveled, then do yourself a favor and pick up a copy of “Lightless Walk”