Monday 30 June 2014

Cult Leader - Nothing For Us Here - EP (Review)

Album Type: EP
Date Released: 15/4/2014
Label: Deathwish Inc.

Cult Leader – ‘Nothing For Us Here’ CD/DD/LP track listing:

1). God’s Lonely Children 01:39
2). Flightless Birds 02:19
3). Mongrel 02:37
4). The Indoctrinator’s Deathbed 02:10
5). Skincrawler 02:53
6). Driftwood 06:06


Cult Leader are the next evolutionary leap forward for three-quarters of Gaza, arguably one of the best metallic bands of the last decade. After the early 2013 dissolution of the aforementioned band, remaining members Michael Mason, Casey Hansen, and Anthony Lucero were joined by bassist Sam Richards to form this brand new beast.

"Nothing For Us Here" is a complex crusher as you would expect. Brilliantly heavy, technical musicianship complimented by Anthony Lucero's new found brutal vocal delivery (previously he played bass in Gaza). All of it coming together as an unconventional tangle of metal/hardcore/punk wreckage. Proving that even in their primordial state, Cult Leader are capable of standing as contemporaries Converge and Coalesce as new monsters of the aggressive music genre.

The Band:

Michael Mason
Casey Hanson
Anthony Lucero
Sam Richards


Utah’s Cult Leader have been hurled at me like a flurry of sludge-tipped arrows on a defenceless hippy encampment.  Formerly known as Gaza, Cult Leader have had to reshuffle their line-up and have, like all the best warriors, gotten back up and re-entered the fray.  With new album ‘Nothing for Us Here’, this quartet have created something which is dark, riveting, and scary as hell.  No wonder the first time I listened to it, it felt like a sneak attack of sound… but when you’ve re-armed and readied yourself for another metal attack from this album, it will reward you with a magnificent sludge-bellowing battle that will leave your ears ringing and your pulse pounding. 

If you were to cut any one of these four gents, I’m finding it difficult to believe that blood would pour from them.  Actually, I think it’d be much more plausible that feedback would instead gush forth from their veins, they are so at one with it.  Their sound is a grinding, slithering mass of anger: part Slipknot, part EyeHateGod, all aggression, these six tracks are an outpouring of guttural emotion.  Anthony Lucero (formerly the bassist of Gaza) has stepped up to the plate as vocalist and hit a veritable home run with his brutish, wall-demolishing throat. 

‘The Indocrinator’s Deathbed’ is a primo example of Lucero’s banshee-shouts, coupled with Casey Hansen’s rollicking drums and the snarling, punch-drunk guitar and bass violence emanating from Mike Mason and Sam Richards respectively. 

With each track there’s this weird percussive vibe, almost as though Cult Leader are always just inches away from hitting something with their fists.  On album closer ‘Driftwood’ – the longest song by a fair margin – it sounds as though these guys have reached the end of their tethers and are smashing, breaking, crying out against the world.  It is a song of dark regret, a masterful blend of feedback, riffs and rage distilled into a fine, heady wine of noise. 

With its sinister, glowering opening riff and Lucero’s rasping statement of ‘I am a loyal dog’, ‘Mongrel’ pounces on you with ragged claws and a mouth full of rabies.  Mike Mason slinks around the fret board with a base cunning, each thumping note hitting you square in the chest with a bruising intent.  Of all the tracks on offer here, this is my favourite: for it’s simple, uncompromising march of a riff and its barking, wild lyrics.  Better put on a grimace and let ‘Mongrel’ sink its teeth into you. 

Cult Leader is a band that has been through some crap in the past, but has certainly put it behind them.  These guys are looking to the future, and ‘Nothing for Us Here’ is a big ‘fuck you’ to past bullshit and a big ‘fuck yeah’ to new horizons and new possibilities.  Become part of a brighter metal cause: follow Cult Leader.

Words by: Chris Markwell

You can get it here