“Doom, Stoner and Shoegaze” are the descriptions that accompany this album. I would add in a healthy dose of Garage Rock and Goth too. There is a distinct air of fuzz about the guitars that underpin this album with a delightful swish of a black velvet gloved glanced in the candlelight. Good Lord I have gone all Byron here in the darkness. Mindkult will certainly appeal to fans of Venomous Maximus and early Danzig as well as those at the Stoner end of the spectrum. This is a one man band – a preserve normally of wasp in a bottle BM but Fowst manages to make the sound of group of likeminded groovers on this debut full length. Only birthed last year Mindkult’s brand of doomy occult melancholy is fuelled more by red wine , ether and Hammer Horror than Patchouli and LSD.
When I first hit play and “Drink My Blood” hit so did the laid back swamp blues fuckery that reminded me of Raw’s awesome “From the First Glass to the Last . Like the Alberta cabin dwellers Mindkult swagger through this opener, cocksure and holding a dripping blade. There is a definite hint of Sweet style pub glam about the drum beats which draws further comparison to Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats though the vocals are drenched in gloom rather than the Uncle’s nasal positivity. There is more than a soupcon of Dark Trilogy Cure in this collection which succeeds in drawing me in further, “Nightmares “ being a case in point.
“Behold the Wraith” is a 9 minute slab of doom, moving like a Golem dragging the bleeding heart of Fowst behind it. There is a change of pace midway and I am brought out into the light for headbang and a beer with a delicious Earl Slick style distorted guitar lick as my guide before plunging back into the dark. Changes of pace are handled wonderfully with no whiplash moments. The ending moving into a more positive psychedelic realm. “Infernals” that follows is an inebriated lurch, like those early morning meanders where you bounce of walls and wheelie bins – but without the bruises.
Witches are a huge part of Metal especially toner, Doom and Psyche. Since I have moved to the Witch County of Suffolk I have revelled in the tales of Hopkins and the poor women that he persecuted. “Howling Witch” is another track to add to the folklore. Starting with a Hammer clip it soon picks up the pace to a groovy absinthe drenched retro rocker.
The title and final track “Lucifer’s Dream” elicits memories of Dinosaur Jr’s brand of earbleeding country with Fowst laying so far back he is almost horizontal. Fowst also manages to coax some ethereal melody from his voice whilst the Sabbath riffs stop the track from meandering too far down the shoegaze path.
Mindkult are a magnificent example of one persons need to let the world hear what is going on in their head and combining dark and light in equal measures to paint a portrait that feels old yet refreshingly new at the same time.
(8/10 Matt Mason)