CULT OF FIRE - Čtvrtá symfonie ohně (IRON BONEHEAD - 7"EP 2014)
This band came out of nowhere few years ago with two great records. And I think they got a lot of deserved recognition. I do hope that it’s all mainly for the music, not the whole imagery, which Cult of Fire has… and which surely is quite theatrical and ritualistic. Personally I don’t really know what should I think of all those concepts taken from India, it feels odd seeing all that in a band from Czech Republic... but well, at least the music is killer. I’ve got the albums on vinyl, but here’s the newest Cult of Fire release, “Čtvrtá symfonie ohně”, and obviously this 7”EP is also in my collection, I could not skip it. And damn, I love it totally. What an impressive music… and luckily the concepts are based on some Czech topics this time, not India haha!
The most surprising thing about “Čtvrtá symfonie ohně” (“The Fourth Symphony of Fire”) is that there are only two, long instrumental songs. But having no vocals surely didn’t do any harm to these compositions, as musically they’re simply superb and I must honestly say that this is my favourite recording from Cult of Fire so far. The whole EP is dedicated to the Czech composer Bedřich Smetana, two songs are titled after the Czech and Slovakian rivers and guess what, “Vltava”, with its main melodic theme, is even based on Smetana’s composition from 1874. Of course Cult of Fire didn’t start to play orchestral black metal, but the more interesting it is to hear something like this translated into black metal language. And the result is simply amazing.
Well, maybe the band didn’t use the keyboards or symphonic orchestra, but surely both songs have that feeling and atmosphere of symphonic music, so this is why you just don’t feel like there’re any vocals needed. And from the more modern music styles, it reminds me post rock bands, with that flow and so many emotions that are reflected in the long, instrumental passages. And damn, “Čtvrtá symfonie ohně” is very mesmerizing and have a trance like, hypnotizing feeling, even if dressed in quite harsh sound and mainly played in fast tempo. The atmosphere is incredibly dark, but somehow “Vltava” manage to be also beautiful. I played this song numerous of times, just couldn’t stop… and when I thought there can’t be anything better, then “Váh” on side B comes. And I am simply astonished, as this track seems to be even more melodic, more emotional and sorrowful. Melancholic opening theme with flowing waters sets the mood and later it’s a great mixture of harsh black / post metal and epicness. Damn, damn great composition and well… I was just playing this 7”EP countless of times for the past few days and I really love it. “Čtvrtá symfonie ohně” is the best stuff from Cult of Fire, also one, which is very surprising, speaking of the musical content, not sure if it’s more like an experiment or what. But who cares. Perfect release, in my opinion.
Final rate: 90/100