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Deathstars - The Perfect Cult (2014) - Review

Band: Deathstars
Album title: The Perfect Cult
Release date: 13 June 2014
Label: Nuclear Blast Records

01. Explode
02. Fire Galore
03. All The Devil's Toys
04. Ghost Reviver
05. The Perfect Cult
06. Asphalt Wings
07. Bodies
08. Temple Of The Insects
09. Track, Crush & Prevail
10. Noise Cuts

Special warning: a fangirl writing a review!

Good, now that everyone who thinks Deathstars are overrated stopped reading, let me start this litany by saying: the gods of Chertograd are back! It has been long five years, the longest five years, since this Swedish industrial ensemble released a full length studio album. After a long time of silence and numerous postponed dates of the upcoming tour, it has finally seen the light of day. Hell opened its gates and black glitter fell from the sky and alas, The Perfect Cult was born.

"So face the dark and I’ll teach you about fire in a blink of an eye" sang Deathstars in their famous song "Cyanide", which launched them to the stars in the melodic metal compartment. They enchanted our souls by their unique approach to music by delivering the aestheticism of ugliness and have probably become the fastest growing band after the release of their second album, Termination Bliss. Its absolute eloquence combined with a unique, obscure and sexy sound became a trendsetter, but no one can do it better than the original. Now the quartet, after in 2013 Cat Casino left the band, is set again to enchant our ears, souls and bodies. But not just merely by music. Deathstars are a complete package. The striking pose, mysterious imagery and melodic sound are all particles, which make their star shine. If the band members were called copycats of the famous Marilyn Manson at the beginning of their career, when the debut Synthetic Generation was released, and the band members were jumping around covered in white corpse-paint-resembling-make-up and wearing skirts, time has passed and shown that Deathstars are a completely unique entity. Yes, Whiplasher Bernadotte and company are still wearing make-up, glitter and uniforms, but needless to say, primary male energy still emits from their essence. No one can be as manly while wearing lipstick and pink accessories, as Bernadotte is. And if female fronted bands exploit the good looks of their singers to amuse the male audience, Deathstars are a treat for us, ladies. Perfectly shaped Bernadotte is not only the modern Adonis in flesh, but his haunting and deep as the abyss vocals sound so seductive and eloquent, it is impossible to resist him. In any way.

If anyone can make a grandiose entrance into the album, then it is definitely Deathstars. This time the honour to deliver the grand deathlgam opening was given to "Explode", a song that strikes a raw nerve with its sheer catchiness. With “Explode”, Deathstars obviously went all in and drew a royal flush, no less. This particular track is presented in the most spectacular and flamboyant style and it will be stuck in your head for days. The following "Fire Galore" resembles a bit to "METAL", which was released on 2011 compilation Greatest Hits On Earth. The slow-paced keyboards are creating a bit more haunting and mysterious groove, but the song nonetheless carries a similar energy as "Explode" – it’s pitch-dark in its essence, but radiates brightness at the same time. "All The Devil’s Toys", the band’s first single from The Perfect Cult, and "Ghost Reviver" follow a similar path and are elegantly continuing the dynamics, which has been set at the beginning, but then with the title track "The Perfect Cult" an album takes a hard and unexpected twist from light to darkness and thus presents with far more obscure and stripped down sounds. Especially the calm and cold "Bodies" really emits an extraordinary amount of tenebrous ambient; while the infernal "The Temple of Insects" delivers a twisted and tenebrous glory. "Truck Crush & Prevail" feels like it has a pinch of Depeche Mode’s synth pop added to the glacial sound of Deathstars. "Noise Cuts" flirts a bit with the up-beat energy, the first half of the album was radiating, but in a much more down-to-earth and dreary manner.

As I have embraced the yin and yang effect of the album in no time, I do have one major complaint however: where are the screams? The beast and the beast effect that was created by the use of contrarious voice colours and singing styles, was one of the signature signs of Deathstars. This release simply doesn’t feature enough of wretched screams for my taste. All in all, The Perfect Cult doesn’t bring anything new from the band's camp, as their distinctive sound is still based on the use of simplistic, but striking guitar riffs, mixed with quite a heavy use or keyboards. And of course, creating an atmosphere, no one else can: seductive, dark, striking and captivating. Time will tell whether the listeners will embrace the contrast between the first and the second half of the album or simply choose one half as a predominant and preferred. But this release definitely marks a new point in the evolution of Deathstars, as the band showed us they still got it and can still deliver an album, everyone will be talking about. Next stop: Claws Through Europe Tour!


Review written by: Ines
Rating: 9/10