It has been many years since 2014’s Oblique to All Paths, although we were gifted with an EP in 2019 – Vespertina Synaxis – A Prayer for Union & Emptiness. Nous contains 64 minutes of new, apocalyptic material, which includes a cover of a Godflesh song, (complete with guest spot from a member of Crowhurst).
Nous is a work of existential fear that describes an experimental exploration of doom, sludge, black, and industrial influences.
Raw and unfettered, Nous is unpolished and unadulterated in its range and scope. The band’s sound is more filth-ridden and malignant than ever, and the music effortlessly exudes a form of atmospheric malevolence that’s quite intoxicating in its menace.
Across the course of the album the band keep things interesting by playing with their influences in different ways, emphasising different aspects of their sound in different places. The sludgy grooves are more disgusting than ever when they appear, and there’s a depraved rhythmic quality here that Culted seem to have become very adept at exploiting. The grooving distortion balances between black and sludge metal expertly, sometimes favouring one style over the other as it rides over the listener with crushing contempt.
The occasional forays into the realms of crippling doom complement the murky riffs perfectly. Some of the band’s doom-laden atmospherics are quite unsettling and sinister. Occasionally the more minimalist or experimental proclivities of Culted come to the fore, resulting in darker, mood-drenched soundscapes being crafted. Industrial enhancements can be felt in places, adding eerie texture and sinister upgrades to the music’s brooding framework.
Culted’s despair-filled blackened doom is well-realised on Nous, and the band have created a nuanced world of nightmare emotion and foul intentions. I have not been disappointed with the return of Culted.