Published Apr 11, 2014With three guys from the now defunct Gaza, Cult Leader have a certain reputation for aural chaos to uphold. But while Gaza delved into the darkest recesses of grind and blackened sludge, Cult Leader start with a brutal hardcore base, add in heaps of crust punk and then grind it up from there.
"Mongrel" is unlike anything these guys have done before, a lurching purge of epic proportions that brings to mind the downshifts of Trap Them and Lewd Acts. Meanwhile, quick blasts such as "The Indoctrinator's Deathbed" and "Flightless Birds" fly by with warp-speed whiplash. New vocalist Anthony Lucero (previously the bassist in Gaza) sticks his neck into the frontman guillotine and somehow comes away unscathed, delivering the kind of vocal performance reserved for the forefathers of guttural roaring.
Not nearly the frenetic headache that Gaza was, Cult Leader have found that sweet spot between early Napalm Death and later Converge. It's more punk/core than it is metal, but Nothing For Us Here should please anyone who wakes up in the morning hunting for a dizzying migraine. Six-minute-plus closer "Driftwood" cements this band's future; a full album of Cult Leader would be utterly epic.
Read an interview with Lucero here. (Deathwish Inc.)