June 26, 2014 Deathstars – The Perfect Cult (Album review)
Swedish Industrial Rockers, Deathstars return after plunging into silence for a few years Releasing their massively successful album Night Electric Night in 2009, Deathstars were riding high on the wings to rock stardom following their supporting spot on Rammstein’s Made In Germany 2011 – 2012 European Tour. Sustaining several internal changes, drummer Ole “Bone W. Machine” Öhman left due to physical issues and guitarist Eric “Cat Casino” Bäckman retired from the band, Deathstars quietly moved on as a four-piece band with new drummer Oscar “Vice” Leander. Quietly regrouping, Deathstars started to show signs of life again in 2013 with the announcement they would be recording of their fourth studio album The Perfect Cult to be released in 2014. Many fans, while anxious to hear new material, raised the question of how the changes in the lineup along with the long hiatus between studio albums would reflect on The Perfect Cult. Deathstars are out to prove to their followers that they are stronger than ever with the album’s release in June 2014.
The most conspicuous factor upon first listen to The Perfect Cult is the sound. Whereas Night Electric Night may have sounded too Rammstein-like and programmed, the new album has more of a fresh live band vibe. Recorded in several studios, The Perfect Cult also features production by guitarist/keyboardist and main-songwriter Emil “Nightmare Industries“ Nödtveidt, along with Roberto Laghi (Entombed, In Flames). The mix was handled by legendary Stefan Glaumann (Rammstein, Within Temptation), while the mastering was done by Svante Forsbäck (Volbeat, Rammstein), setting a high standard of what to expect from the ten track offering.
Taking a first cursory look on the songs, it appears the band has not denied their trademark sound. Seeming as if nothing has dramatically changed, Deathstars preserves the typical dark riffing and keyboard sound of Nightmare Industries and the charismatic, unique voice of vocalist Andreas „Whiplasher Bernadotte“ Bergh. Although on a second and closer observation one will discover a new face of Deathstars which has morphed with The Perfect Cult. They manage to bring their dark creepy sound into a mainstream with a lot of pop-appeal, underlined by smart, effective, and detail electronic programming. All of the songs are endowed with a great chorus and it’ s difficult to forget pearls like “Fire Galore” or “Track, Crush & Prevail” which includes the typical background screams of bassist Jonas „Skinny Disco“ Kangur and picato-string arrangements. Tracks such as the single “All The Devils Toys“, “The Perfect Cult“, vocoder sounding “Noise Cuts”,or the opener “Explode” could have easily been featured on Night Electric Night but luckily here are heard with a more natural and rocking tone. Even the creepy electronics on”Bodies” has hit-potential and is akin, in its composition, to something from Termination Bliss (2006).
So many may ask if the five year gap was worth the way for The Perfect Cult. The answer is a resounding yes as The Perfect Cult gifts quality instead of quantity, making it perhaps their best album to date and one of the biggest surprises in 2014. Deathstars album and one of the biggest surprises in 2014. Fans who loved the trademarks of the previous albums will need an exorcist to get this record out of their heads. CrypticRock give this album 5 out of 5 (death) stars.