by Robert Dean
If there’s anything you can say about the band Cult Leader, it’s that they’re absolutely unrelenting. Without a doubt, Cult Leader is one of the best bands on the rise – the sadistic mixture is there: they’re the perfect mix of hardcore, death metal and black with a few timely gut punches of shoegaze. The songs go from pummeling Destruct-o-Matic violence to brooding marathons that span many sound types. What Cult Leader pulls off is special.
I’d been waiting to see Cult Leader, I’ve been high on them for a while now and their most recent record, A Patient Man is worth the critical praise many have given it. (I counted in my year’s best for 2018.) So, finally getting the opportunity to see them was something I was excited about and they did not disappoint. Barreling through probably one of the toughest songs I’ve heard in many moons, “I am Healed” the band worked its dark magic giving a tepid audience everything they had.
In general, Austin shows up for bands when they come to town, we appreciate good music, and the turn out was clearly positive, considering it was a sellout. Given that Cult Leader was main support for Daughters, the crowd wasn’t as invested as I’d liked. I understand it’s a move to get the band in front of a lot of newer faces who probably wouldn’t know them or their type of music, but the reaction wasn’t anywhere what the headliner got. Ideally, I’d love to see Cult Leader do a co-headliner with Nails or Gatecreeper, or hell, opening for Cannibal Corpse, but by all means, get that exposure from some new fans.
I don’t mean to say there weren’t people there just to see them, but the majority of that room was there for Daughters and Jesus Christ on a bike wouldn’t have gotten them as fired up as seeing a band they’ve missed for over a decade, so no harm, no foul. But, have no doubt that Cult Leader gave everything they had.
For forty-five minutes, we were given a lesson in what it means to see a tight band crush. No talking, no funny business, just murder. That’s precisely what you want out of a band called “Cult Leader” nothing but well-practiced savagery and boy did they give us the goods; what’s so impressive about the band is how talented they are, there’s no weak link, some dude hiding being everyone else. Every member of Cult Leader is adept at their instruments; there weren’t any points where it didn’t sound as crisp as it did on record, but every piece fit like a glove.
If you’re curious about a new metal band, something new to sink your teeth into, Cult Leader delivers. If you’re into stuff like Code Orange or Vein, you need to give Cult Leader their due. Their records are fantastic, and the live show is incredible. After a strong performance, there’s no doubt they’re one of the best bands in the genre and it’s only a matter of time before more and more people catch up.
(from a previous show)