The Cult have always been something of an enigma as a band.
Having been through multiple line up changes and name changes throughout the years, Ian Astbury and The Cult have been bounced between the rock and goth genres never quite fitting in to either one, and have produced some ground breaking songs in the process such as the iconic “She Sells Sanctuary”, “Rain“, “Love Removal Machine” and “Fire Woman” to name but a few.
With the production of “Choice of Weapon” The Cult have done something that they said that they would never do – produce another full length album, but that was in 2009 after all and they did record the album while on tour…
All things considered Ian Astbury has put together an interesting album with some cracking songs on it, with opening track “Honey from a Knife” containing elements of classic The Cult sounds with its fast paced structured riffs and understated choruses seamlessly merged with newer more up to date sound clips.
“Elemental Light” takes on a slower, more gothic feel with its grandiose sweeping sounds focussing more on Astbury’s unique vocals and creating an almost dreamlike state with its swirling lyrics and electronic based backing.
“The Wolf” has pure classic Cult stamped all over it, from the get go with its classic “Rain” era openings to the song and giving the haunting Astbury vocals a good work out with his vocal range now being the same, if not better than it was all those years ago back when “She Sells Sanctuary” put them on the map. This song is destined to become a firm favourite among fans old and new alike.
“Life > Death” is a more sombre song, with elements of piano scattered throughout it, with an echoing David Bowie/Ziggy Stardust style chorus to it marks a change to the sounds that you are accustomed too and is a difficult track to pull off, but this is Mr Astbury after all.
“For The Animals” returns to the tried and test The Cult formulae of fast paced technical guitar playing, layered with sweeping vocals and stunning guitarmanship that they made their name doing.
“Amnesia” sounds off similarly to The Cult classic “Fire Woman” before branching off slightly taking it in a more classic rock driven route.
“Wilderness Now” slows the pace right down again concentrating more on deliberately underplaying the musical sounds to add further emphasis to Astbury’s unearthly vocals.
“Lucifer” starts off with a gruffer, more electro based feel to it bring to play the full force of the classic rising chorus style merged with stunning guitarmanship layered with an almost spoken word vocal style employed on it, bringing an almost Alice Cooper style feel to the song.
Closing tracks “A Pale Horse” and “This Night In The City Forever” seem slightly out of place with its sound not quite fitting in with the rest of the album.
“Choice of Weapon” proves that The Cult are still alive and kicking now some 30 years after they first broke through. They are still difficult to pigeonhole into any one genre and are still producing songs that will stand the test of time.