Cult Of Daath
The Grand Torturers Of Hell
[War Hammer]

Had the American duo released this 4-tracker ten to fifteen years ago, it might have achieved "kult" status (perhaps the stupidest phrase to enter black metal yet) by now and would be marketing off for small fortunes on eBay along with Fallen Angel of Doom and Satanic Blood. They probably should have just done that, because the grave reality behind Cult of Daath is that they are pretty good but heavily overrated, and they are nowhere near the likes of the legends they continuously recite as influences (Profanatica, Beherit, Mortuary Drape, etc.). Actually Cult of Daath's full-length isn't as close to intriguing as their demo was even, and the cover of Sadomatic Rites really gets on my nerves, owing to vocals buried way too far in the back and music which isn't bad by any means but could hardly be expected to capture any of the essence of Drawing Down the Moon. Come to think of it, I've never heard a good Beherit cover, and I'm beginning to wonder if there ever will be one.

However, an individual needs to give credit where credit is due - these guys have the right mindset, great sources, and they convey their sound in a thickly cruel and barbaric fashion, with a raw ugliness that still occasionally provides a refreshing listen. "Summoning the Bloodred Moon" and "Ritualistic Impurity" were completely rocking and ferocious tracks and if they had shown the same amount of spirit throughout the rest of the recording, this could have had a massive outcome indeed. As it is I think The Grand Torturers of Hell is getting way more attention that it deserves and that's probably largely in part to the typical 666 hand-numbered restriction.

No synthesizers, no female vocals, no nonsense, so still definitely worth checking out if you're one of those with the firm traditional ideology. I'll be interested to see where this project develops. Cheers to Mike and a great label, by the way.

2002 hando