Cult Leader follows up their generally well-received debut full-length, Lightless Walk, with A Patient Man; a near-perfect blend of unbridled chaos and emotional depth.
A Patient Man opens up with a double dose of hellacious fury in the form of “I Am Healed” and “Curse of Satisfaction”. Burly, bulldozing grooves coalesce with off-kilter rhythms and caustic dissonance are delivered in violent whirlwinds of sound whose brute force is further accentuated by frontman Anthony Lucero’s gut-wrenching vocal performances.
“I Am Healed” immediately descends upon the listener with the ferocity of a feral beast, unleashing a slew of grisly, noise-infused riffs that jerk and writhe within frantic rhythmic shifts. After a breakdown of city-levelling proportions gives way into a barrage of guitar-generated noise, “Curse of Satisfaction” comes stampeding out of the feedback with angular, battering grooves of its own. In between the song’s galloping beatdowns, hardcore rampages, earsplitting harmonics, and strategic application of noise, “Curse of Satisfaction” proves itself to be one of the album’s standout heavier tunes.
With tracks such as “Lightless Walk” under their belt, it should come as no surprise that the band explore their slower, more melancholic side a bit more on A Patient Man. “To: Achlys”, for example, forgoes the band’s metallic tendencies in favor of slow-burning, icy clean guitars, somber melodies, and sung vocals. Falling somewhere between post-rock and deathrock, the song’s shimmering guitar lines and gloomy atmosphere build to anthemic heights and are propelled by Lucero’s deep baritone. “A World of Joy” follows a similar approach with its forlorn riffs and beautifully empty atmospherics, but ends on a monolithic, sludgy, and vicious note.
There are also moments on A Patient Man where the chaos and beauty converge. “Isolation in the Land of Milk and Honey” begins its assault with a whirlwind of discordant, spiraling guitar work whose chaos is only heightened by Casey Hansen’s frantic drum work. The song eventually slows its freneticism into a lumbering, melodic doom march that gradually breaks apart into a series of fluttering melodies that provide a bright contrast to the song’s overall bestial nature. The album’s closing track, “The Broken Right Hand of God”, harks back to “Lightless Walk” with its slow-burning, doom-oriented riffs that call a mix of 90s “slowcore”, mid-era Earth material, and fellow Salt Lake City outfit SubRosa to mind. Weaving in moments of aggression and spearheaded by Lucero’s emotive, yet savage vocals, this six-minute dirge is a towering crawl that drags listeners to the album’s dreary, yet cathartic conclusion.
Cult Leader‘s A Patient Man is a faithful sophomore effort and a logical, positive step-forward for the band. Those looking to get crushed and cry a little bit will not want to sleep on this one.
Release Date: November 9, 2018
Favorite Tracks: “I Am Healed”, “Curse of Satisfaction”, “Isolation in the Land of Milk and Honey”, “Share My Pain”, and “The Broken Right Hand of God”
For Fans Of: Call of the Void, The Secret, Sectioned, Curse and God Mother