Stream Culted’s New Album ‘Oblique To All Paths’ In Full With Terrorizer

By on 20 January 2014


Mysterious blackened doom quartet Culted release their highly anticipated sophomore album ‘Oblique To All Paths’ today, and you can hear it in full right here…

Despite forming in 2007, the members of Culted have never performed together in the same room at the same time. Instead, the band have used modern technology to trade song ideas back and forth, coming up with some very evocative and imaginative doom in the process.

After releasing their debut album ‘Below The Thunders Of The Upper Deep’ through Relapse back in 2009, Culted’s unique brand of bleak, crushing doom with a harsh, black metal-esque atmosphere caused quite a splash in the extreme metal underground. It’s been four long years since that album was released, but now the follow-up, ‘Oblique To All Paths’, is finally here. It’s a dark and unpredictable journey, that finds the band breaking new ground and expanding their sound into ever more daring sonic pastures.

Check it out below…

We caught up with the band to find out more about their remote writing process, their lyrical themes and whether or not we’ll ever get a chance to see them live…

Could you tell us briefly how Culted was formed, and how you all came into contact with one another?
Michael (Klassen, guitars, bass, percussion, noise): “It was back in 2006 I believe, I was over a buddy’s house and he was playing a bunch of new CDs he’d just gotten in the mail and he put on Daniel’s Deadwood project, specifically his ‘8 19’ album and it made me sit up and take notice. I think he may have even ended up giving it to me that day, because I was so smitten. Anyway, a short while after I sought him out on Myspace, introduced myself and the project Matt and I were working on and asked if he’d be willing to add some Industrial sounds for an intro we were working for the third Of Human Bondage album. He did and we kept in touch. Sometime in the next year or so he emailed me asking if we’d be up for working on some Doom type stuff and we said, “absolutely!” And Culted was born.”

How does the writing process normally work for you guys? Will one member send a song to the others pretty much fully formed, or do you tend to end up sending stuff back and forth quite a lot?
Michael: “To this point, it’s been Matt or I that comes up with the basic structure of a song and then we will build and layer it, instrument by instrument, vocal by vocal until the song lets us know it’s finished. And yeah, the files go back and forth a fair bit.”

What would you say are the pros and cons of being in a long distance band, as opposed to regularly meeting up and jamming with one another?
Michael: “The pros and cons are completely subjective. When I was younger I would never have dreamt that I could be in a band with a member I’d never met, yet here we are. Back then I probably would have thought that the lack of jamming or not knowing one another in a traditional sense, would nullify the use of the term, band. But now, after many years of doing bands the traditional way, this was fresh and exciting. It’s invigorating not having any real idea how anything we do will end up sounding. The possibility that we may never play live together is about as close to a con as I can come up with.”

Does that mean the possibility of playing live is something you’ve been thinking about?
Michael: “At this point, Culted will remain a studio project and that’s only because of the cost and scheduling involved in bringing us all together for a good period of time, to do it properly.”

‘Oblique To All Paths’ sounds much more ambitious than your debut. How would you compare the writing and recording process for this record to the last?
Michael: “There was less discussion this time around of what we were going to do. Years back when we decided we were going to put something together, it was with the idea that it would be a doom type project and I think the debut and follow up EP accomplished that. This time around, we went a few years without even talking about the band. During the interim, when we talked with Daniel it was about life and the goings on in our immediate families, getting to know one another, so to speak.

“It was late 2011 when Matt and I went on a seven-hour road trip to see Swans in Minneapolis that things began again, regarding Culted. Immediately following the show, we drove straight back through the night in silence, no radio, no conversation, and just complete calm, except for a torrential downpour that caused some white knuckle driving. It was that experience of succumbing and losing oneself in sound that was very satisfying and very inspiring that likely resulted in the muse or daemon, that thing or event which interprets and transports divine things to the individual, to reveal itself.  A few days after, I was home with my son who was sick and was having a long nap. I grabbed the guitar, amp and digital recorder, because I knew that whatever was about to happen, I needed a record of it. Turns out, I wrote a great deal of ‘Brooding Hex’ in that two and half hour period and a number of other riffs that evolved into the other songs on Oblique to All Paths. You never know when inspiration will strike, but when it does, it’s magic.”

Lyrically, the album is very intriguing too. What kind of themes have inspired you this time around?
Daniel (Jansson, vocals): “The lyrics this time are not as abstract as on our debut, ‘Below the Thunders of the Upper Deep’ and its follow-up EP ‘Of Death and Ritual’.  Meaning, they are a bit more straightforward, but of course there should always be room for interpretation. A lot of inspiration comes from books and movies, but they also deal with everything from depression, wars and massacres to the religious politics that run them. Also, it’s those lies we’re force-fed every time we turn on the TV, to keep us buying and consuming, the corporate money that’s killing the earth and everything on it. It’s a thing of beauty really, if you’re into ugly.”

What does the future have in store for Culted?
Michael: “We’ve begun fleshing out some ideas, which initially I thought would be an EP, but it’s slowly beginning to look like something bigger. Time will tell…”

‘Oblique To All Paths’ is available now via Relapse Records.

You can find Culted on Facebook.

About Kez Whelan

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