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Minas Morgul - Kult (2017) - Review

Band: Minas Morgul
Album title: Kult
Release date: 1 December 2017
Label: Trollzorn

01. Einleitung
02. Kult
03. Ein Teil von mir
04. Abschied
05. Leere
06. Bevor ich gehe
07. Nur eine Kugel
08. Scherben
09. Was bleibt
10. XX

German combo Minas Morgul are back stronger than ever, and they should be, because the band which formed back in 1997 is celebrating their 20th anniversary, and why not make a colossal work boldly titled Kult. So, if you have guts to name an album with such a name then you must be pretty self confident of what you have to offer and Minas Morgul are, for a reason. Judging by their name someone might expect epic atmospheric metal inspired by Tolkien's Middle-earth, something in the vein of Summoning and their followers, but it's not like that. Ok, yes, the music of Minas Morgul is epic, it's also quite atmospheric, but in a different way. Minas Morgul offer pure devastating and powerful pagan black metal in the first place.

Kult is comprised of ten songs and has a running time of almost 50 minutes, and in these minutes the Germans are decided to set everything on fire and bring darkness upon mankind. This album is way more elaborated than everything they did before (their previous effort was Ära released in 2012), and the bang-up sound of this sixth album of the band carries the new songs on omnipotent wings of soundscapes, which is a great addition to all elements. Before you press play button on your player be prepared to be crushed by incredibly expressive and powerful pagan black metal in pure Teutonic manner.

The album opens up with a nice dark atmospheric, a bit horror/tribalistic kind of an intro, and when the real deal starts with a vehement album title track, that opens up delicately with doomy melodic rhythm accompanied with female voice, you won't expect how powerful everything becomes. One of the most noticeable instruments must be tumultuous, violent and technical drums. Yes, the rhythmic line is so very powerful and forms an adequate backbone for melodic yet aggressive guitar riffs and expressive vocals that are highly dynamic but harsh and shaking to the bone.

Minas Morgul create an astounding dense wall of sound, the atmosphere is often dark and poignant, with interesting gloomy synths put in the background. When the soundscapes became almost too linear the band nicely inserts some elements that you won't expect, like some clean vocals, acoustic guitars, orchestrations and keeps constantly everything at high dynamics, a fine example is a masterpiece named "Ein Teil von mir". There are many pace changes, from slow doomy lines to ultra fast ones, but often intense and spiced up with captivating melodies. You can find in Minas Morgul destructive pagan/black metal sound many different elements, from driving "made in Germany" thrash in the vein of old Kreator or Sodom for example, typical black metal, doom metal, a bit of post-black metal, death metal, to symphonic metal and some folk elements, but everything is throughout consistent, absolutely heavy and has a very addictive flow.

Maybe the drums and vocals are here and there too much fronted in the mix, but on the other side those who enjoy to hear some magnificient drumming will be more than satisfied with it. Many blastbeats, tremolo picks, relentless driving sharpness and controlled rapid staccato outbursts cut deep into listeners heart, just listen to the fantastic melodies in "Leere" or to the outpour of anger in the intense "Scherben" and "Bevor ich gehe". Minas Morgul invited Robse from Equilibrium to be a guest vocalist on the blackened track "Nur eine Kugel", a track with many diversities which has some very interesting old school death metal riffs.

The whole thing in Kult is crowned by a casual Nordic coolness, which makes majestic feelings rise high. One of the perfect examples must be "Was bleibt", how fucking intense but always precise, melodic, it reminds here and there to their country mates Agrypnie, but Minas Morgul is heavier, darker and also raw. The album has a certain theatrical feeling, it's a sonic crusade of primordial force and Teutonic rage, which in the end is rounded up with black/death masterpiece "XX". Kult is an album that has a high replay value, there are many things hidden that need to be discovered with more consequent spins. It's an album, or better said a spectacle of dark power, that leaves a long lasting positive impression.

Review written by: T.V.
Rating: 8,5/10