We live in harrowing times. There is unrest as far as the eye can see. The news each night is a sobering collection of things that happened that pretty much defy common sense. Part of the United States feels like it’s locked in the clutches of a faith cult, where they can’t separate news events from their strange ideology. There’s never been a scarier time to be alive for so many of us.
It’s fitting, then, that The Lion’s Daughter return with a stirring new record “Future Cult” that’s steeped very much in the present but also in the past. With the advent of darkwave, these guys have found something profound in that sound and mixed it into their dangerous, sludgy doom metal that hits as hard as ever. The horror movie synth that’s become a major part of their sound on this record also feels like an escape. It reminds me of a simpler time of my youth when the scariest thing in the world was a masked slasher and not the goddamn president of the United States and his blind followers. This used to be a beer/metal/pro wrestling site, and now we’ve added politics. Anyway, it’s added a fascinating element to this band—guitarist/vocalist Rick Giordano, bassist Scott Fogelbach, drummer Erik Ramsier—one that makes them more exciting and riveting, which they didn’t really need, but damn it if it doesn’t make this record stand out in the crowd.
The title track gets us going, as electronics and riffs collide, synth whirs, and growls penetrate, giving us our first terrifying view that ends in static and barrels into “Call of the Midnight Animal” that lets loose knocks and a haze. Then shit just explodes, with an industrial-powered assault, the band blasting in the mud, and then a fog emerges that pulls a blanket of confusion over the terror. Noise echoes out of that, before the band delivers a bludgeoning end. “Die Into Us” lets loose the synth darkness, as guitars spiral, and harsh calls leaves bruises. “We cannot speak, we cannot dream!” Giordano wails, as the riffs catapult, speed becomes a factor, and the synth takes us into the darkness. “Suicide Market” has keys surging as the mud builds and becomes hard to traverse. The assault is blunt and dangerous, as thick basslines bruise faces, and we end in a shadow of eerie darkness. “The Gown” begins clean, with acoustics sprinkled in, as spacey synth creates strange clouds, and the riffs clobber. Harsh growls make their way into the chaos before darkness rises up and fades.
“Grease Infant” opens with a similar wave of keys before the guitars outright gut you, and tough vocals
blast their way into the picture. There is weird, gut-wrenching power on display, with murky keys giving the song an urban nighttime feel. Leads blur and bleed, with the song fading into the shadows. “Galaxy Ripper” has filthy riffs, speedy punishment, and the band stabbing away, leaving oozing wounds before its blunt finish. “Tragedy” has keys causing confusion before riffs and blurry sentiment twist your brain. The vocals bludgeon, as the keys spread and send chills, finally fading into mystery. “Girl Autopsy” is a quick instrumental built on noise waves, synth strikes, and strangeness, ideally paving the way to finisher “In the Flesh.” Right away, knife edges scorch the skin, as the pace devastates, and the synth freezes the flesh. Guitars dizzy as a chilled sci-fi feel arrives, with the band lobbing hammers, Giordano screaming, “Terror in the flesh!” and the track ending in a bed of real-life horrors.
The Lion’s Daughter remain a punishing, bludgeoning band, and their addition of darkwave synth to their stew makes them heartier and bloodier. “Future Cult” is a really imaginative, terrifying record that, despite its name, is very much relevant to right now. It’s a horrifying time for humanity, and this record hammers that point home to an uncomfortable level.
For more on the band, go here: https://www.facebook.com/thelionsdaughter
To buy the album (North America), go here: https://shopusa.season-of-mist.com/
Or here (International): https://shop.season-of-mist.com/
For more on the label, go here: http://www.season-of-mist.com/