CultOvOnly forming late 2013 this is the first offering from a very new Polish cult. They stem from a former melodic black metal band called Hegeroth who reached demo stage but never really seemed to take off beyond this. Looking at this when it turned up I kind of expected it to be similar in style but the trio behind it have taken another dark path and gone beyond the black metal sphere into a more gothic and industrial style.

Keys and drum machine take us into things with an ominous and foreboding sound before the band give us a very synth-pop, dark wave sound on first proper number ‘Dancing With The Devil.’ Clean and somewhat flamboyant vocals sound as though they are making a pact to sell the orators soul before adopting a sinister rasping style as the music slowly oozes forth full of dark beguiling melody. Naturally there are guitars adding to this texture chugging away in the background but it is the synth work that really is the main focus here. Much more techno and electronic orientated comes I Follow My Bride, the vocals now are rasping and tenuously whispering and then we get some really theatrical organ sounding keyboard work. It’s quite a mix of styles and there’s even some blackened elements to it too. I am reminded a little bit of Italian band Ensoph and a bit of the dark romance of Welsh band Tor Marrock but Cult Ov Mora have quite a unique stance on things and as the EBM styled bleeping start of ‘Wake Up My Beauty’ comes along its evident that they have many ideas of their own. This one has a particularly catchy and incessant chorus that lingers on. Guitars are much more prolific here and there’s a long flowing solo, the constraints of the drum machine unfortunately make it sound a little too artificial but this disc seems very much an introduction to the band so hopefully they may still expand line-up wise in the future and address this.

At full force as on ‘Time Has Come’ they command head-banging and mix their blackened origins with the newer dark style well and I could easily see this appealing to a cross section of tribes. This is also illustrated in their interesting choice of two cover versions. The first Burzum’s Ea, Lord Of The Depths may have the purists reacting in horror as its raw primitivism of the original and even the more polished sound of the 2011 version has been invaded by alien sounding cyber vocals and futuristic keyboard work but hey it’s still a damn sight more appetizing than the recent bastardisations of black metal by Drew Daniel and his Soft Pink Truth. Much more in tone with the original is the unmistakable Fight from The Cur’s ‘Kiss Me…’album with its moribund sound weaving away, even if vocally it’s strangely different and maybe more upbeat without Smith’s wails.

So this Cult have definitely arrived and provided plenty of good ideas here which hopefully may get them attention and recognition to go on and further things in the future. I’ll be keeping ears and eyes peeled.

(7/10 Pete Woods)