THE CULT – Under The Midnight Sun (2022)

THE CULT - Under The Midnight Sun (2022) - full

THE CULT has reveled in a storied career. From the pre-millennial iconic ‘Love’ album bursting with idealism, the melodic hard rocker ‘Sonic Temple’ plenty of swagger, and the full on blast of 2001’s ‘Beyond Good & Evil’ to the recent biting truth of ‘Hidden City’, the band has lived their art.
How the future unfolds will be decided in part by current cultures response and the group’s response. One thing is for sure, The Cult will respond. It’s what they do.
The Cult’s next endeavor ”Under The Midnight Sun” is out October 7, 2022, and it’s good, good Cult… The album title was inspired by the band’s 1986 performance at Finland’s Provinssirock festival, where they basked in the titular midnight sun during summer when the sun doesn’t set north of the Arctic Circle.
On this new record The Cult incorporates both sides of this musical duality; guitarist Billy Duffy’s arena-rock histrionics with singer Ian Astbury’s esoteric musings getting a slight edge. Yes folks, musically, The Cult are in majestic form on ”Under The Midnight Sun”.

Across its eight tracks, ”Under The Midnight Sun” evokes this ethereal phenomenon via Duffy’s shimmering, reverb-washed guitars and Astbury’s gravelly, vibrato-laden baritone. Producer Tom Dalgety (Ghost) gives the LP a crisp, nervy sheen, allowing cymbal crashes, propulsive tom rolls and nimble bass lines to bend the listener’s ear without obstructing the band’s chief melodic duo.
Duffy covers a vast sonic terrain, dishing out crunchy rock ‘n’ roll chords and cavernous single-note leads in equal measure. Album opener “Mirrors” and lead single “Give Me Mercy” soar thanks to these glistening six-string showcases, conjuring the yearning, melancholy grandeur of ‘Love’ cuts like “Nirvana” or “Rain.”
Asbury remains as cryptic as ever, imploring listeners to “Watch the butcher’s knife / In his trembling hand / The end of a species / The shimmering veil.”

It all sounds terrific from a technical standpoint, abounding with the galloping, midtempo grooves and restrained choruses.
”Outer Heaven” sees Astbury’s sonic delivery remaning powerful, full of emotion and character, the orchestral additions blending perfectly with Duffy’s guitar work and John Tempesta’s driving drumming, while the dynamic ballad “Knife Through Butterfly Heart” offer welcome changes of pace.
The penultimate track, “Impermanence” is pure Gothic Rock – black eyeliners, psychedelic sunset, reverb and flanger, black lights, and unforgettable nights. Finally, Astbury, Duffy, and the rest of The Cult – John Tempesta (drums, percussion), Grant Fitzpatrick (bass, backing vocals), and Damon Fox (keyboards, rhythm guitar, backing vocals) – conclude ”Under the Midnight Sun” with the dramatic, mystical, and idyllic title-track.

At times hypnotic, often enchanting, and always full of passion and character, ”Under The Midnight Sun” provides the timely reminder that although The Cult hit their 40th anniversary next year, there is plenty of magic left in a band whose wider catalogue is criminally overlooked far too often.
Highly Recommended


01 – Mirror
02 – A Cut Inside
03 – Vendetta X
04 – Give Me Mercy
05 – Outer Heaven
06 – Knife Through Butterfly Heart
07 – Impermanence
08 – Under The Midnight Sun

Billy Duffy – guitars, backing vocals
Ian Astbury – vocals
John Tempesta – drums
Grant Fitzpatrick – bass, backing vocals
Damon Fox – keyboards, rhythm guitar, backing vocals


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