Deathstars – The Perfect Cult (Album Review)

With a very welcome return to the form they showed on their second studio album Termination Bliss, Sweden’s Deathstars are back with a vengeance with their fourth studio album The Perfect Cult.

Whether you enjoy this new album or not will depend wholly on whether you liked or loved earlier tracks such as “Cyanide” and “Death Dies Hard”.
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If you hated those, you’ll hate these.
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Perception being what it is, it seems this band is finally gaining a substantial following here and, as a result, there will probably be more lovers than haters for this newest release. Night Electric Night was a bit hit-and-miss and when the Deathstars last toured here their setlist ignored all but a couple of dark ditties from that inconsistent album. On the contrary, The Perfect Cult is one of those rare releases that could be performed from cover to cover.

We can hear the criticisms now… ‘it is just too similar to their other stuff’, but many a band has found a formula that works for them and has stuck to it until a new and equally successful formula can be found. On these ten tracks, we hear the typical sounds of Whiplasher (vox), Nightmare (lead guitar and keyboards), Skinny (bass), and Vice (drums) leading us on a theatrical journey through the hellish aspects of their lives.

Of particular interest is how the tracks are layered this time. Maybe the verses and choruses sound very familiar, but missing from previous efforts are the almost subliminal backbeats that add a dimension to the music, which show definite progression. We cannot expect any less than something special from this crew, which incorporates the technical mastery of the likes of mixer Stefan Glaumann, who regularly works with Rammstein.

There are a few highlight tracks, including “Fire Galore”, “Ghost Reviver” and “Temple of Insects”, which showcase urgent beats, shredding guitars evocative keyboards, and eerie and varied vocals. That’s not to take anything away from any of the other tracks and this reviewer’s predilection for the heaviest offerings on any album.

If you enjoy the gothic metal genre, this is an album that is ‘up there with the best of its kind for 2014 so far. Listen a few times and you will hear a new complexity, a new facet of Deathstars that will reach out to ears and drag the attached being forth into the dark abyss.

Release Year: 2014
Label: Nuclear Blast Records
Category: Album
Country: Sweden

Reviewed by Sharon Brookes