THE CULT – Dreamtime (2024 Remaster) *HQ*

THE CULT - Dreamtime (2024 Remaster) *HQ* - full

THE CULT released their debut album ‘Dreamtime‘ in 1984. To celebrate its 40th anniversary, Beggars Banquet Records is reissuing the album Remastered 2024.
While the origins of The Cult began a few years earlier, ‘Dreamtime’ was an epic start to The Cult’s long and amazing career. The album has become legendary amongst fans, and marks the beginning of their definitive sound. Goth and psychedelic leaning, ‘Dreamtime’ was included by Kerrang! in a list of essential goth albums you need to know and “Spiritwalker” is a radio staple until this day.
Following the band’s evolution from the Southern Death Cult, to Death Cult, and then simply The Cult, ‘Dreamtime’ finds the outfit featuring Ian Astbury and Billy Duffy, pivoting from their goth and punk roots into something eclectic, aspirational, and adventurous.
Rife with lyrical references to the indigenous cultures of the Americas and Australia, and set against a more bombastic and muscular musical backdrop, ‘Dreamtime’ hints at what would envelop the band over the next four decades, a dedication to their wholly unique songwriting, both musically and thematically, and the frenzy that was soon to come with the release of Love only a year later.

Before the American mainstream of ‘Electric’ and ‘Sonic Temple’, there was ‘other’ THE CULT.
If you only know The Cult since ‘Electric’, there’s a new sound to discover with 1984’s ”Dreamtime”. For many, this is the best Cult ever. At the time Ian Astbury howled his lyrics in a unique way, guitarist Duffy created swirling, serpentine guitar lines unlike anyone else’s, Nigel Preston‘s (or rumored to be original producer Joe Julian‘s) tom-heavy drumming was innovative and outside the traditional rock framework, and Jamie Stewart still had enough room in the mix to add interesting, funky textures on bass.

All the pieces fit so perfectly on ”Dreamtime” that perhaps Astbury and Duffy had few options but to start removing and replacing them with each following albums – just to reach wider audiences and become platinum sellers. Of course, ‘Electric’ and ‘Sonic Temple’ are terrific hard rocking albums, but ”Dreamtime” is really unique in its own terms, musically a glimpse from what was to come..

Duffy’s dramatic, dark guitar riffs and Astbury’s passionate semi-wailing set the tone from the start with ”Horse Nation” and throughout, while the rhythm section keeps the tribal/goth feeling running equally high. Indeed, goth is still stalking the band’s efforts whether the members liked it or not: consider “83rd Dream” and its distinctly creeped-out introduction, Astbury’s vocals fed through extra effects.
If there’s not as much in the way of blunt power chording as later, ”Dreamtime” is still loaded with a variety of moody, energetic joys. “Spiritwalker” is especially fantastic, Preston’s rolling drums and Duffy’s epic, crystalline guitar not that far off from what U2 was going after, but (arguably) with even more appeal. Add in Astbury’s explosive singing, and it’s a definite treat through and through.

Other strong numbers include the title effort, which may reference the native Australian concept of time, but is more about wearing long hair and tripping on the shamanic vibes, and the who-else-but-the-Cult invocations of mythic America in “Go West”, “A Flower in the Desert”, and previously on opener “Horse Nation”.
“Gimmick” has soaring vocals with stabbing guitars, coupled with a fast beat that gets the heart racing. The Cult are also known for their slower, darker, macabre side, especially in the firs half of the ’80s. “Bad Medicine Waltz” and “Butterflies” certainly cover that.
”Dreamtime” sounds like an angry young band unwilling to compromise.

Yet tracks like “Go West” had tremendous commercial potential – memorable, punchy melodies and Astbury singing with all the panache he can muster. “A Flower in the Desert” could be called a ballad if you like. A dour, dusky one. An impactful “Rider in the Snow” has some excellent guitar shimmer.

After first listen, you found that there is not one weak track on this album. The songs are more challenging and not as instantaneous as on the following LP’s, but when Astbury’s one-of-a-kind vocals mix with Duffy’s angular guitars, it sounds like The Cult. Period.
From aggressive rock songs to mournful dirges like “Bad Medicine Waltz”, this album has a bit of everything that The Cult would later become, in embryonic form.
Highly Recommended


01 – Horse Nation (2024 Remaster)
02 – Spiritwalker (2024 Remaster)
03 – 83rd Dream (2024 Remaster)
04 – Butterflies (2024 Remaster)
05 – Go West (Crazy Spinning Circles) (2024 Remaster)
06 – Gimmick (2024 Remaster)
07 – A Flower in the Desert (2024 Remaster)
08 – Dreamtime (2024 Remaster)
09 – Rider in the Snow (2024 Remaster)
10 – Bad Medicine Waltz (2024 Remaster)

Ian Astbury – vocals
Billy Duffy – guitar
Jamie Stewart – bass, backing vocals
Nigel Preston – drums, percussion


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