Album Review: Cult Leader – A Patient Man

Boiling down Cult Leader’s 2018 Deathwish full length A Patient Man to some 350 words is no easy task. The record explodes at the seams even in its soft, doom-infused tracks.

Although the band might be known to some for their  hard hitting grindcore, they prove via their newest work that they have so much to offer. Their presentation extends beyond stylistic concerns and down to their inescapably unique identity as a band.

They should be considered apart from any member’s former or concurrent project(s). Their work proves deeply morbid and yet not sensationalist, a welcome feature since theatrics can get tiring. In the midst of their bubbling, furious stew, they’ve struck out a unique path for themselves as artists. Not only thematically does the band avoid gimmicky pitfalls, but musically they do as well.

The record, thanks to its immense complexity, might take a couple or a few listens to wrap your head around, but it’s worth it. The band starts at what feels like as high as they could go, launching literally straight into blast beats and fury on their opening track “I Am Healed,” released as a single.

After maintaining a darkly resounding and texturally somewhat familiar, although exciting, fury, they sink into the depths with their second single, “To: Achlys.” Elsewhere it’s been described as “death rock,” and the track proves itself a capable harbinger of doom, not just in the stylistic sense.

That isn’t a gimmick either, though (thankfully). The band’s dark, brooding spirit that shines through on the handful of tracks like “To: Achlys” reaches into the listener and metaphorically twists their insides when they might least expect it. The experience and the record as a whole are thrilling and yet also grueling.

With A Patient Man, Cult Leader have struck out a path for themselves as concerned with charting a liberating and cathartic and yet extremely controlled path for the listener. To put it simply, not every musician could play the at times wild segments found on the record. That fact weighs itself on the record when you step back as a listener to think about it. In truly every aspect, A Patient Man proves a monumental work.

Purchase the album here. 

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