Review: “Cult” by The Lowest

Hailing from Warsaw Poland, The Lowest are a 5 piece Hardcore Punk band – compromised of Jerzy Skarżyński on drums and vocals, Kostek Skarżyński on bass, Michał Stencel on guitar, Stanisław Bożek on guitar and Paweł Wróbel on vocals – with a reputation for creating bone crushing Metallic Hardcore riffs with textured ambience. “Cult” is the bands sophomore album following 2018’s “Doomed” and a pair of notable EPs. It’s a 10 track concept album with lyrics touching different aspects of religiosity, from the primeval atavistic cults to the 20th century sects…

The ambient synth and melodic guitar of “Alpha” brings to mind the calm sea washing on the shore of an empty beach at sunset. It’s beautiful introduction that after 68 seconds fades into “Ceremony”. A big drum sound and click-y bass with feedback appearing over the top at first before the riff and vocals come into play. The steady bounce of Metallic Hardcore riffage burn through parts while a more drawn out bridge adds a sing-a-long quality before the breakdowns bring us home. Building tension with a classic 2000 era Metalcore lead guitar brightening up the darker main rhythm riff, “Follower” uses group clean vocal chorus to give that sing-a-long ability rather than being reliant on a single vocalist or hardcore gang chant and it works really well. It’s a nostalgic throwback that has an instant warmth for fans of Metal who came from the Nu-Metal era into that first wave of Metalcore bands that set the tone for the period.

Turning things to a Hatebreed meets Integrity down a dark alley for a brick fight style, “Immaculate” ups the ante with more of the adrenaline fueled riffage and the bark of “I didn’t come to bring you peace, I came to bring a sword”, ironically a classic Power Metal lyric but delivered with the punch of Metallic Hardcore. Taking a more detailed storytelling approach, “Seven Seals” tells of a metaphorical Pandora’s box and the four horsemen of the apocalypse bringing the end of days while being surrounded by swirling dark atmospheric riffs. First Metallic Hardcore, then some more melodic traditional Metal. The guitars even taken on a Sitar like quality before the ambient fade that bridges into “Death to the World”. There is that Knocked Loose esq drum sound captured to perfection and some good use of tempo shifts with that less pace more menacing groove of an almost downtempo guitar interplay. Again using the ambient synths to bridge the tracks, “Revelation” comes in seamlessly. It’s a 94 second pallette cleanser that suits the cover art perfectly, giving something to gaze at while it plays out. 

“144 000” is a faster cut with some blistering riffage that points it’s finger and asks who survives? The religious context is an interesting one and may go unnoticed to those who aren’t looking, the 12,000 people in each of the 12 tribes being a pointer. Arguably the tune with the finest kit performance is “Silver City”, which pummels and hammers it’s way over plentiful classic 2000s Metalcore era riffs, done with a modern pristine styling. The build and fade are fine hallmarks of great musicanship and underneath that crunchy grit and sandpaper vocals there is an undeniable melody of haunting quality. The surprise is the length of closing tune “Omega”, which clocks in at 7 minutes and 39 seconds. But having shown the ability earlier on the in the album, The Lowest create a big sound of slower groove rhythm that underpin an aching vocal part before some big drum fills and tension laiden leads. The Metallic Hardcore of earlier in the album is washed away in a tsunami of Metallic atmospheres before the final barked verse and frankly its a fitting end to an album of gargantuan proportions [7.5/10]

Track listing

  1. Alpha
  2. Ceremony
  3. Follower
  4. Immaculate
  5. Seven Seals
  6. Death To The World (ft. Michal C of Last Penance)
  7. Revelation
  8. 144 000
  9. Silver City
  10. Omega

“Cult” by The Lowest is out now and available over at bandcamp

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