THE CULT – Choice Of Weapon [2CD Deluxe Edition] (2012)

THE CULT - Choice Of Weapon [2CD Deluxe Edition] (2012)


I’m surprised that great rockers THE CULT finally has released a full-length CD since singer Ian Astbury vowed years ago that they wouldn’t do this again, rambling ‘the format is dead’ or something to that affect, and that they’d just release ‘capsules’ (single songs) from here forward.

However in 2012 Astbury and guitarist Billy Duffy, together since 1983 (with a couple of sabbaticals in between), have just released their 9th studio album entitled “Choice Of Weapon”.

The Cult have come full-circle with “Choice Of Weapon”, as it is their most consistent effort in the last twenty years and combines sounds of the past, present and future.

I must say that this is the strongest Cult line-up to date — featuring Astbury, Duffy, drummer John Tempesta (of Testament, Exodus, and White Zombie fame) and bassist Chris Wyse.

Tempesta and Wyse shine on this recording as one of the most pretentious rockin’ rhythm sections I have heard in a while — this is no doubt due in part to The Cult reuniting with producer Bob Rock, who is known for cranking out some ‘big’ sounding albums.

Ian Astbury is in top form as he’s stepped it up not only as a singer but also as a lyricist. Given the politically heady themes so pertinent to the current ‘take-over’ movement, the album refuses to abandon its hard rock likability for the sake of indulgence.

It crawls with idealistic philosophy on the verge of intolerance, yet foremost it remains an engaging listen with a driving beat and blistering guitar work. Billy Duffy unleashes a series of blazing solos and tremendous riffs of which the songs are based around.

The Cult is alive and well — they are revitalized, fusing their classic style with a modern and updated sound.

Right out of the blocks The Cult sets the tone with the opening “Honey From A Knife”, which is a hard rockin’ track in the band’s best tradition. That song, and the first single “For The Animals”, scream ‘play me live’ — and both will have you burying the gas pedal to the floor.

In addition, the aforementioned could be placed side by side with classic cuts from ‘Electric’ and you’d mistake them for bonus cuts — not filler.

“The Wolf” has a vintage Cult sound that’s reminiscent of something from the ‘Love’ sessions — clearly it isn’t, but that’s just how strong Choice Of Weapon is.

The ballad “Love > Death” is among one of the best The Cult has ever recorded, bar none, while “Lucifer” is a refreshing take on psychedelic rock and another in the line of the standouts on the album.

This ‘Deluxe Edition’ comes with an extra CD featuring 4 excellent bonus tracks, previously released in 2010/11 as ‘capsules’ (singles including 2 tracks each) in extremely limited editions. Really good songs with the same feel & production quality of the main album.

“Choice Of Weapon” is a class act brimming with confident musicianship, luscious but never too rough hard rock, and crisp She Sells Sanctuary-ish guitar riffs.

Original members Billy Duffy – an ace at memorable guitar passages – and frontman Ian Astbury whose distinctive wailing voice has settled pleasantly into a rich deeper register, have created a rocking album full of vitality, boasting a topical integrity that addresses the current state of our information overloaded society by confronting political oppression.

You can add “Choice Of Weapon” to the list of fine works by The Cult alongside Love, Electric and Sonic Temple.

Highly Recommended.

01. Honey from a Knife

02. Elemental Light

03. The Wolf

04. Life > Death

05. For the Animals

06. Amnesia

07. Wilderness Now

08. Lucifer

09. A Pale Horse

10. This Night In the City Forever


01. Every Man and Woman Is a Star

02. Embers

03. Until the Light Takes Us

04. Siberia

Ian Astbury – Vocals

Billy Duffy – Guitars

Chris Wyse – Bass

John Tempesta – Drums


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