Sound — 8
Being a big Cult fan I am pretty established with their sound and sytle. This record shows that time apart hasn't affected the style. But the sound has changed, not from time apart but just with time, the sound is heavier than you'd expect from the Cult but maybe it's the reinvigorated energy of Sorum (having back drummer Matt ex-GN'R and now Velvet Revolver). It's very raw rock n' roll, what these guy's do best. The music is a return to form after the last record ('The Cult') showed a dip in that department. The riff's are kick ass. Billy sDuffy on top form, intense solo's as usual. From this band we have come to expect nothing less than powerful Rock N' Roll and this record from the outset may sound different but it's just an update of the good stuff. Very good drumming from Matt (as you'd expect) and Ian Astbury on top vocal form.
Lyrics — 10
Ian Astbury is one of the greatest front men of all time. His lyrics sometimes seem a bit weird (been a spiritualist would help interpret some of the lyrics). Astbury is very into native indians and spiritual stuff that fill his lyrics with meaning. Not many song writers pick the words he sometimes uses to express himself. His powerful vocals have not changed over time and compared to any other 'Cult' record are as good if not better. The lyrics fit with the music very well. In one song Astbury sings about the guitar been 'All tuned down', kind of a knowing reference to their new sound. Again not something most singers would do.
Overall Impression — 10
The album is definately one of those rare records that grow on you. A lot of the songs sound as if they are going to be very heavy (which isn't my taste) at the start but when other instruments break in the song takes a different turn. It needs a couple of listens to get used to though. This is The Cult's return to form songwriting and music wise. There are often glimmers of the changing and past in there, the odd riff or sound and Ian Astbury's voice is neverchanging and everpresent. Cult fans and fans of the genre will not be disappointed. If you are new to the band buy 'Love' 'Electric' or 'Sonic Temple' before this because without them you won't understand where this record is coming from.