Veteran British rockers, The Cult, are back with their ninth full length album. For those not familiar with The Cult’s history, they started out as an up-and-coming Modern Rock band with their first couple of albums in the mid ‘80s, and soon transformed themselves into full Metal fury with classic albums Electric and Sonic Temple. They produced a few Rock radio hits that gave them a huge international presence. During the ‘90s and ‘00s they had few albums that produced a hit-and-miss quality of music. With their latest album, Choice Of Weapon, The Cult seems to be back in rare form, and they use an all-inclusive approach to creating an album that is indicative of their entire career.
This album is certainly not a recreation of their masterpiece Sonic Temple -- that should be made clear from the start. The Cult has evolved leaps and bounds since those days into a very heartfelt and expressive phenom. Choice Of Weapon can best be described as a very artistic piece of Hard Rock. Gone are the days of driving high-pitched riffs from guitarist Billy Duffy ... enter now dramatic, melancholy compositions with heavily-dosed emotional vocals.
The passion of Ian Astbury’s vocals is at the center of this album,; all of the tracks are built around his lyrics and vocal arrangements. Astbury’s vocals are extraordinarily powerful in each and every track and he is able to emote an incredible amount of passion; clearly he is one of the finest singers of the modern day.
The main argument mainstream listeners may have with this album is quite simply the lack of a common, melodic sound. Additionally, to take it even one step further, lack of a “Metal” presence. This is where the listener must allow for the expressiveness and creativity of the band to take merit over wanting to hear regurgitated versions of an older sound. Choice Of Weapon is difficult to pigeon-hole into a specific genre of Metal, however they should be praised for creating their own trend.
Musically, there is nothing technically overwhelming about the band’s performance. Duffy’s guitar work almost seems dull compared to some of the stellar performances fans have heard in the past. However, as most Cult fans know, this band's creativity is produced in more artistic ways other than musicianship.
From a fan perspective, Choice Of Weapon is a home run. It has everything that a Cult fan would expect and it digs deep into their early, soulful sounds. The Astbury/Duffy success formula is back in full force and a welcome return. However, a passive listener could very easily concede the album as drivel because of its overly inventive compositions. Either way, this is The Cult of today, not yesterday. They have built a strong following based on their individuality, and that is always something to be commended.
Official Band Website
Cooking Vinyl Records