Tag Archives: Ian Astbury

Album of Week 13: HIDDEN CITY

Hello friends! Time runs really too fast. I almost forgot I got a blog. It was on January the last time I posted something here. Everything’s ok so far. Every starting of the year is becoming significantly harder. I don’t know if it’s because of the weather, I’m moodier than usual, perhaps it’s the lack of sun, but I’ve been too slow these past three months.

But, hey!  I bring you good news, I’m writing on one of the most likely best albums of the year already, and I’m totally hooked up on it.

hidden city

The fact that The Cult releases an album in 2016 it’s exciting. After rediscovering its entire discography in the past months, because I was basically familiarized with 2-3 records, I’ve realized that this band’s never followed a standard pattern of in terms of evolution. In fact, seems that they’ve been experimenting and developing what Ian Astbury or Billy Duffy were in the mood at that specific moment. Truth is that this choice is nothing but too risky, and probably this has been the main reason for preventing them from stardom, and commercial success.

One thing is for sure. They’ve always delivered outstanding albums without any major disaster. Something not everybody with more than 30 years of career on their backs can say. So when a new album was announced, you had the guarantee of a good work, but not even the fans could conceive how the album was going to sound like, because The Cult is simply unpredictable.

When the first singles came out, my expectations definitely grew fast. The trotting rhythm of ‘Dark Energy’ didn’t catch my vibe in the beginning, but with ‘Hinterland’ you could already guess Duffy’s work on guitars is killer. And the third single, this ‘Deeply Ordered Chaos’ with the verse ‘I’m a European’ repeated by Astbury and rising up to one of the most intense moments of the album.

the cult

There was another positive point to have in mind and it’s the collaboration of Bob Rock producing Hidden City. Joey Tempesta’s drums and Duffy’s  guitars  sound very powerful, and the arrangements, are treated elegantly, without being excessive, creating very special atmospheres. Astbury is almost 54, and even though nowadays he’s in perfect shape, it’s obvious his voice has lost some register, but still, it keeps on being super evoking, able to transmit  decadent sensuality in ‘In Blood’, my personal favorite, but also heartbreaking harshness in ‘Birds of Paradise’.

It’s a pity many fans remain stuck in the past and only relate The Cult to the albums they recorded almost 30 years ago. if you are livid as a musician and live for writing, you need to evolve from Love, Electric or Sonic Temple. And as a fan, you’d enjoy more if you were moving forward. If you read this, and consider listening to Hidden City, but are one of these people, don’t waste your time, but be aware you’ll miss a great album.