Album Review – Culto Negro / La Noche Oscura del Alma (2022)

This Costa Rican horde will crush your senses with their debut opus, transforming the dark night of the soul into a first-class fusion of Black and Speed Metal.

Forged back in 2015 in the dark pits of Heredia, one of Costa Rica’s most historical cities, Black/Speed Metal horde Culto Negro (which by the way means “black cult” in English) has just unleashed upon humanity their debut full-length opus, beautifully titled La Noche Oscura del Alma, or “the dark night of the soul”, a sulfurous album of old school extreme music that exhales rage and adrenaline. Recorded by the band’s own guitarist Isak Arroyo at Orion Studios, mixed and mastered by Colin Marston at Menegroth Studios, and displaying a sick artwork by Nuno Zuki of Belial NecroArts (with additional artworks by Alan Corpse at Leprous Hands Arts), La Noche Oscura del Alma doesn’t have a single second of peace, offering our avid ears 39 minutes of a sonic Armageddon masterfully crafted by vocalist D.N., guitarists Esteban Sancho and Isak Arroyo, bassist AntiChristopher and drummer Vörago.

More than just a simple intro, Espectro Lunar (“lunar spectrum”) is already a bestial attack by Culto Negro where the riffage by Esteban and Isak is truly infernal, setting the stage for D.N. to kill in Desdoble (“unfold”), a fast and furious hybrid of Black and Thrash Metal that will please all fans of the genre bringing forward an amazing job done by Vörago on drums, keeping the music vibrant and evil from start to finish. Then it’s pedal to the metal as this Costa Rican party has no time to end to the sound of El Quinto Ángulo (“the fifth angle”), where D.N. makes his personal tribute to Hardcore and Punk Rock on vocals while the band’s guitar duo delivers sheer awesomeness through their riffs and solos, followed by Verso Adivinado (“guessed verse”), another frantic, demonic creation by the quintet where AntiChristopher’s bass punches add a touch of dementia to their scorching guitars, while Vörago hammers his drums in a true demented way. And Navajas, Cadenas y Espejos (“knives, chains and mirrors”) sounds like a hellish fusion of the music by Slayer, Motörhead and The Exploited, being therefore a fantastic option for slamming into the pit like there’s no tomorrow.

Get ready to be smashed like a bug by Culto Negro in the venomous Rojo Siniestro (“sinister red”), with D.N.’s vocals sounding more deranged than ever while Vörago keeps dictating the pace with his Punk Rock-infused beats; whereas in Caos o Cosmos (“chaos or cosmos”) the name of the song says it all, offering us all a chaotic sonority from the very first second with Esteban and Isak delivering pure thrashing riffs for our total delight. And such dynamic guitar duo revs up Culto Negro’s engines once again in Salvajes Destructores (“savage destroyers”), highly recommended for some nonstop headbanging and slamming into the pit; while Violencia Psicoactiva (“psychoactive violence”) is Black, Thrash and Speed Metal straight to your jugular, showcasing more of AntiChristopher and Vörago’s infernal kitchen. La Larga Marcha (“the long march”) can be considered the most infernal, brutal and caustic of all tracks where D.N. continues to vociferate like a rabid creature. Put differently, let’s all raise our horns to Culto Negro and their anti-religious extreme music. Last but not least, we have their cover version for Hermética’s Desterrando a los Oscurantistas (“banishing the obscurantists”), which original version can be enjoyed HERE, from Hermética’s 1989 self-titled debut album. It’s indeed an amazing rendition by those Costa Rican metallers, with AntiChristopher hammering his bass in great fashion until the very end.

If you believe you have what it takes to join the black cult ruled by such talented horde form Costa Rica, you can stream  La Noche Oscura del Alma in its entirety on YouTube and on Spotify, and of course purchase it from the Godz ov War Productions’ BandCamp page or webstore, as well as from the Violence Records’ BandCamp page. Culto Negro are also waiting for you on Facebook and on Instagram armed with the austere chants found in La Noche Oscura del Alma, showing us all Costa Rica is a metallic country as opposed to what most people think about it. They managed to transform the dark night of the soul into top-tier Extreme Metal in their debut effort, and may their music continue to darken the skies for many years to come.

Best moments of the album: El Quinto Ángulo, Navajas, Cadenas y Espejos and Salvajes Destructores.

Worst moments of the album: None.

Released in 2022 Godz ov War Productions/Mythrone Promotion/Violence Records

Track listing
1. Espectro Lunar (Intro) 1:53
2. Desdoble 2:51
3. El Quinto Ángulo 2:52
4. Verso Adivinado 3:29
5. Navajas, Cadenas y Espejos 3:38
6. Rojo Siniestro 3:57
7. Caos o Cosmos 4:02
8. Salvajes Destructores 3:43
9. Violencia Psicoactiva 4:29
10. La Larga Marcha 5:29
11. Desterrando a los Oscurantistas (Hermetica cover) 2:15

Band members
D.N. – vocals
Esteban Sancho – guitars
Isak Arroyo – guitars
AntiChristopher – bass
Vörago – drums

Album Review – Gasoline Guns / Motor Cult (2021)

Time to join this Ukrainian cult of gasoline, guns, rum, whiskey, bourbon and badass Rock N’ Roll.

3.5rating

gasoline-guns-motor-cult-2021Bringing to our avid ears another round of their high-octane fusion of Heavy Metal, Rock N’ Roll and Hard Rock spiced up by ass-kicking harsh vocals, a combination the band itself likes to call “Metal N’ Roll”, the flammable Motor Cult, the brand new opus by Chernihiv, Ukraine-based metal drunkards Gasoline Guns, is a fun and vibrant collection of nine songs about a post-apocalypse and explosive world, blazing whiskey, fate, dusty roads and, of course, our good old, infernal Rock N’ Roll. Recorded, mixed and mastered at Higain Records and displaying a gasoline and coal-fueled artwork by Ian Guy the Motoring Artist, Motor Cult continues to pave the rockin’ path created by vocalist Dmytro “Talladega”, guitarists Danylo Sobolev and Volodymyr Zvol, bassist Andrew Moyseenko and drummer Volodymyr back in 2013, not only being the perfect follow-up to their 2015 demo and their 2016 full-length album Rust’n’Dust, but also a must-have for admirers of the fusion of burning fuel and badass riffs by bands such as Chrome Division and Motörhead.

Rev up your engines and join Gasoline Guns’ rockin’ feast in the alcohol-infused opening track Bourbon Burns, where Dmytro fires his trademark raspy vocals while Volodymyr crushes his drums in the best Motörhead style, whereas in Under Wicked Sky the raw and dirty lyrics barked by Dmytro (“There is no going back / And hope is a mistake / One more race, one more chase / One more lovely day / Riding road of fury / Riding road of pain / You live, you die / But you will live again”) bring even more thunder to the visceral riffs and solos blasted by Danylo and Volodymyr Zvol, resulting in a fast-paced ode to pure, unfiltered Rock N’ Roll. Their acid hybrid of Heavy Metal and Rock N’ Roll strikes again in the form of Hell Thunder, where the Lemmy-inspired bass by Andrew will make your head tremble mercilessly; and reminding us of the early days of Chrome Division, those Ukrainian rockers deliver a frantic tune entitled Gasoline and Guns, inviting us all to scream and shout the song’s catchy chorus together with them while Volodymyr dictates the pace with his pounding beats, not to mention Danylo’s sick guitar solo.

It’s not a true Rock N’ Roll album without a song with a Spanish name inspired by Mexican gunslingers, and that’s exactly what Gasoline Guns offer us all with tons of alcohol, bullets flying everywhere and the breathtaking sound of their guitars in El Pistolero, and the skies will get darker and the air heavier in the Stoner, Southern and Sludge Metal tune This Road Is a Snake, where Dmytro continues to tell tales of the life on the road with his inebriate vocals. Those five Ukrainian rockers keep hammering our heads with their vicious sounds in Nothing to Prove, where the riffage by Danylo and Volodymyr Zvol will penetrate deep inside your skin and invite you for a bloody pub brawl, and the band’s guitar duo, together with Andrew, will put you to bang your head like a metal maniac in the awesome Wheels of Rust, a classic Rock N’ Roll extravaganza with no shenanigans that will please all fans of the genre. Finally, we’re treated to And That’s Why We Drink, urging us metalheads to grab our glasses and bottles and join Gasoline Guns in their metallic tribute to all things alcohol, led by the always heavy and unfriendly voice of Mr. Dmytro “Talladega”.

gasoline-guns-2021After all is said and done, it’s time to put the pedal to the metal and hit the road together with Gasoline Guns to the sound of Motor Cult, and in order to do so you can stream their awesome new album in its entirety on YouTube and on Spotify, follow the band on Facebook and on Instagram, subscribe to their YouTube channel, and above all that, purchase Motor Cult from their own BandCamp page or from Apple Music, showing all your support to the underground. In the end, who doesn’t want to join a Ukrainian cult of gasoline, guns, rum, whiskey, bourbon and badass Rock N’ Roll, right? That’s all we need to find our inner strength to endure this dangerous highway we all like to call life.

Best moments of the album: Under Wicked Sky, Gasoline and Guns and Wheels of Rust.

Worst moments of the album: None, you bastards!

Released in 2021 Mythrone Promotion / Defense Records

Track listing   
1. Bourbon Burns 3:02
2. Under Wicked Sky 2:32
3. Hell Thunder 3:08
4. Gasoline and Guns 4:08
5. El Pistolero 3:54
6. This Road Is a Snake 5:07
7. Nothing to Prove 3:58
8. Wheels of Rust 4:25
9. And That’s Why We Drink 4:42

Band members
Dmytro “Talladega” – vocals
Danylo Sobolev – lead guitars
Volodymyr Zvol – rhythm guitars
Andrew Moyseenko – bass
Volodymyr – drums