Musical experiments rarely feel so, uh, experimental as Future Cult, the brave new frontier for The Lion’s Daughter. The St. Louis sludge act’s blackened take on audio violence has certainly morphed over the years, but this latest batch of, as the band self-labels, “unpleasant” music, is something else, fresh and horrifying in a league of its own. Future Cult features some of the most mystifyingly surreal art this side of a David Lynch work, and the mix of blackened sludge and (no joke) Satanic synthwave is about as subtle as a neon-encrusted knife to the jugular.
Indeed, much of Future Cult feels like an unholy marriage of two different types of noisy music, but what’s particularly impressive about this experiment is how keenly The Lion’s Daughter build a consistent atmosphere of dread and excitement through the record’s efficient run-time. Tunes like “Die Into Us” are strangely catchy, full of throbbing riffs and eerie synths; the harmonic interplay between the synth and guitars is truly otherworldly. While it may be initially frustrating that tracks take different approaches throughout the record, the relative diversity and slight shifts in focus result in an immensely replayable record. The blackened fury that is always ready to unfurl at a moment’s notice.
The Lion’s Daughter were never your typical plodding sludge act, and Future Cult allows the band to spread its musical wings in new, wonderful directions. Not every song employs such a strong synth backbone, and none do it quite as well as the opening trio of tracks, but Future Cult is certainly a breathtaking display of musical surreal horror that few have dared try to encompass. The melding of various influences results in the type of music that turns your stomach in bunches while you are enraptured with the daring musical display at hand. The Lion’s Daughter’s latest experiment is one Hell of a success.