Release Date: Jan 21, 2014
Record label: Relapse Records
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Heavy Metal
Once again, Culted fly in the face of any misconceptions that a studio-only band lacks the fire or spontaneity of a group that routinely play together in the same room. Though they've never met face-to-face, the record does nothing to reveal this aspect of the band's creative process. Oblique's songs are intricately woven into a dark, discordant tapestry, alternating between longer, more atmospheric songs and straight-up destructive doom.The strand of connective tissue that links the stark, open-form tracks with the shorter, more conventional ones is Culted's rhythm section.
Someone needs to pay for Culted to play: In a recent interview, guitarist Michael Klassen suggested that the international quintet of doom metal reprobates would consider stepping onto a stage if they were presented with the proper opportunity. The admission represents a significant advance for Culted, not only because the band has never performed live but also because four of its members have never even met Daniel Jansson, the rather threatening Gothenburg vocalist who happens to be the quintet’s lead singer. After an EP and two LPs, including the sprawling new Oblique to All Paths, the band’s Canadian contingent have only e-mailed and exchanged files with Jansson.
Five years since their last full length, 2009’s Below the Thunders of the Upper Deep, blackened doom metal band Culted have released their long awaited sophomore record, Oblique to All Paths. The album is not only a welcome return to the doom metal landscape, but also a strong example of what a doom record should be: daring. Upon a few listens, the record becomes extremely focused, and the musical growth of the band becomes apparent.
With three members in Canada and one in Sweden, Culted have never played music together in the same room. Which might help explain why Oblique to All Paths is grounded in a specific atmosphere rather than a specific genre. Does the band play blackened doom? Death/doom? Power/sludge? Does it matter? From oppressive 19-minute opener "Brooding Hex" to clanging, scattershot closer "Jeremiad," Culted trudge a crooked, hellish road indeed.