Much has happened since The Cult started out in 1981 as The Southern Death Cult, and much has happened to the band since they put out their debut Dreamtime as The Cult in 1984. That and its follow up Love saw the band as some kind of goth / rock / pop band and gave them a hit with ”She Sells Sanctuary” before Electric came out in 1987 and set the record straight with its AC/DC grooving Rick Rubin production. The songs ”Wild Flower” and ”Love Removal Machine” made them a big band, but things would grow even bigger for them.
The Bob Rock produced Sonic Temple and its big hits ”Sweet Soul Sister” and ”Edie” made The Cult a major headline act all over the world and the fact is, this was the album that was the reason for Bob Rock’s reputation as the hottest producer in the world when it came to hard rock and metal. However, that album’s wild touring also took its toll and when the band put out the very underrated album Ceremony, they were reduced to a duo, leaving only singer Ian Astbury and guitarist Billy Duffy as the sole members since drummer Matt Sorum had left for Guns N Roses one year before. In 1994 they called it quits after their grungy self titled album had completly failed.
But back in 2001 Ian, Billy and Matt reunited for a new album, the Bob Rock produced Beyond Good And Evil, an album that didn’t exactly set the world on fire. Too bad, because it was a really good album that was worth a better destiny. The band split once more after that only to return for a second reunion back in 2007.
That album, Born Into This, was, if not a bad one, somewhat unfocused. But what it did was to make a band out of The Cult again and a pretty successful tour followed before writing for this album could slowly start.
With this album The Cult have had the same line up, with Chris Wyse handling bass duties together with John Tempesta (Rob Zombie, Ozzy) on the drums, for two albums in a row which is a record for the band and for the first time since Ceremony, the band has a really strong album in their hands! But it doesn’t start off that well. Opener ”Honey From A Knife” is weak and when you’re on your first spin, that doesn’t bode well.
But things take a right turn already by song # 3, ”The Wolf”, a cool rocker that takes us back to the vein of ”Fire Woman”. And in ”Life > Death” they give us a very strong and heavy ballad before the first single ”For The Animals”, despite its good message, brings us downhill again. Except for these two misadventures, the album doesn’t creep any lower. ”Lucifer” is a great rocker that’s all classic Cult, ”A Pale Horse” has all elements of the brilliance of Sonic Temple and ”Every Man And Woman Is A Star” is fantastic. A classic Cult song that holds both catchiness and groove. Only too bad it’s a bonus track for the de-luxe edition of the album.
Although the album holds the odd filler, The Cult have recorded one really good album with this one and once again Bob Rock holds the production, making the album sound extremely good and even though the album probably could have been a bit better song wise, I believe that every Cult fan out there will see this album as a big step forward.
Besides, the album is a grower, so it will need a few spins before the final judgement for all of you who take an interest in this one.
Jon Wilmenius (7/10)
01. Honey From A Knife
02. Elemental Light
03. The Wolf
04. Life > Death
05. For The Animals
07. Wilderness Now
09. A Pale Horse
10. This Night In The City Forever
11. Every Man And Woman Is A Star
13. Until The Light Takes Us