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JFH Music Review

Cultist, 'Slow Suicide'

Slow Suicide

Artist Info: Discography
Genre(s): Hardcore / Deathcore
Album length: 8 tracks: 26 minutes
Street Date: July 21, 2023


The word "cult" is often used with a pejorative connotation, and rightfully so in most cases in which it is used. But a less common, more benign definition for the word is "a system of religious beliefs and ritual," which, fairly accurately, could describe Christianity. Which is why Facedown Records' newest signing, Cultist (and their label debut, Slow Suicide), shouldn't be any cause for concerned Christian metal fans.

In a way, Cultist sort of picks up where Facedown alumni like Dynasty and Those Who Fear left off, with an emphasis on traditional hardcore over metalcore or post-hardcore. The Californian act delivers 27 minutes of beatdown hardcore that are gritty and grungy, opting for heaviness and intensity over much melody. Tracks like "Hell of My Design" and "Last Breath of a Dying god" will get your head nodding, maybe even give you that hardcore stank face, and will leave you wanting to re-experience the brutality and no-holds-barred kick to your ear drums. "Suffering By My Own Hand" is an album highlight and a great example of what they bring to the table. The song isn't completely void of melody, but it spends more time beating the listener over the head with nasty riffs and drums that feel like a perpetual breakdown. And with Earth Groans' Jeremy Schaefer on guest vocal duty, there are also plenty of throat-shredding screams and growls, as he joins in lamenting the peacelessness of a sinful life, and his need for repentance ("Suffering by my own hand / sinking lower just to feel something / coping with what I can't stand / wasting away into nothing / there is no peace in my soul / everything is black and I'm losing control / the higher I feel, the deeper the depths / Father I'm sorry, Lord I repent").

The album's lyrics do a great job of being just as heavy as the music. One of my favorite tracks is "Preacher III," the band's third song in a series that seeks to call out and dismantle false teachers. This entry holds absolutely nothing back except any specific names of people the song may be about (though the line "Best life now, because it won't end well" is pretty telling, I suppose). Again, the song pulls no punches, taking seriously the damage that false teachers do to the church and to their own lives ("Christlike in the public eye / Satan in the lies you hide / there is violence in the house of God / from the shepherds who are called to the flock / what will Christ do when you rape his sheep / when He shows everyone the lies you keep"). If you had any doubts about a band called Cultist, rest assured they are eager to show you in whom their faith is placed.

I stumbled across Cultist via someone's recommendation a couple of years ago, and I really enjoyed their independent album, An Observation of Grief. To see them get signed shortly thereafter was really neat, because they have so much to offer, and they now have a bigger platform on which to do their thing. Slow Suicide does not disappoint; what it does do, however, is serve as a great introduction to your new favorite beatdown band. Go give them a listen, I doubt you'll regret it.

- Review date: 7/18/23, written by Scott Fryberger of

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. Record Label: Facedown Records
. Album length: 8 tracks: 26 minutes
. Street Date: July 21, 2023
. Buy It: Apple Music
. Buy It: (CD)
. Buy It: (Vinyl)
. Buy It: AmazonMP3

  1. Slow Suicide (3:47)
  2. Preacher III (2:57)
  3. Memento Mori (3:18)
  4. Hell Of My Design (3:22)
  5. I Fear Your Silence (3:49)
  6. Suffering By My Own Hand (2:51)
  7. Let Me Feel Everything (3:35)
  8. Last Breath of a Dying god (3:06)



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