‘Mara’ is new album from Icelandic metallers, Cult of Lilith. For those who are unfamiliar with the quintet, let’s just say they aren’t afraid to incorporate a wide range of styles, genres and soundscapes into their music.
“The intention was always to write a diverse record with a lot of different influences melded together in an extreme metal package,” states guitarist Daniel Þór Hannesson. “We wanted the album to be a journey that never becomes stagnant and that keeps the listener engaged the whole way through. It is important to us as a band to not lock ourselves in a box and always keep options in diversity.”
I think it’s safe to say that Cult of Lilith have achieved what they set out to do with this album. The extent of the range of genre influences is wonderfully ludicrous; with all sorts of styles materialising through each track the band really know how to throw curve balls into their music. I was gripped from the start with their choice of instruments upon hearing a harpsichord in the introduction to ‘Cosmic Maelstrom’. It gives a strong taste of the Necromechanical Baroque genre, with which they describe themselves.
This album seemingly has everything: the prog organ in ‘Purple Tide’, smooth and dreamy vocals delivering lovely harmonies in ‘Atlas’, a beautifully composed piano melody outro ‘Comatose’, and how can I not mention the Spanish flamenco section ‘Profeta Paloma’?!
Mario’s harsh vocals deliver a deeply demonic sound. The lows he performs in ‘Cosmic Maelstrom’ complement the distorted instrumentation perfectly. The track overall is intense with power that really packs a punch. The interspersed harpsichord section, and lead guitar riffs, breaks up the solid wall of sound by adjusting the dynamics. The contrast between this and the progressive elements in ‘Purple Tide’ show off how broad Cult of Lilith’s sound is. The heavy pounding rhythms and powerful vocals cohesively link the tracks together, whilst leaving space for the track to go off in an entirely different direction. The instrument tones used throughout the album are just delicious. The djent tone used in ‘Atlas’ gives the guitar rhythms an enhanced sound. It blends seamlessly with the percussion to produce a huge impact. ‘Le Soupir du Fantome’ brings in beautiful clean, operatic style vocals with a gentle guitar melody. The atmosphere is wonderfully theatrical with heavy instrumentation accenting more emotional sections. The explosion into full heavy metal is very dramatic, and it remains in keeping with the rest of track through the presence of subtle orchestral motifs.
‘Mara’ by Cult of Lilith is an album that delivers a truly eclectic mix of soundscapes and instruments throughout. No track is the same; each has its own distinctive personality, if you will. Some of the best song writing comes from listening to a wide variety of genres and it’s obvious that Cult of Lilith are open to all aspects of music. They understand their own sound and how to incorporate different influences into their unique style.
Cult of Lilith line-up:
Mario Infantes Ávalos – Vocals
Daniel Þór Hannesson – Guitar, Composition and arrangements
Kristján Jóhann Júlíusson – Guitar, Composition and arrangements
Samúel Örn Böðvarsson – Bass
Kjartan Harðarson – Drums
Cult of Lilith online:
“Mara” by Cult Of Lilith tracklisting:
- Cosmic Maelstrom
- Purple Tide
- Enter The Mancubus
- Profeta Paloma
- Le Soupir du Fantome