CULTCHILD – D A R K F O R E S T

253

Emanating from the deserts of Phoenix, Arizona is a strange pulsing bassline accompanied by ominous electronic rhythms, trap style beat and distorted electronic sounding vocals. Is there something extraterrestrial at play? No, its just D A R K F O R E S T, the new album from witch house artist CULTCHILD. The album actually covers a lot of ground, with quite a bit of variety in tone, texture and tempo across its thirteen tracks. If you like dark brooding music with plenty of atmosphere and exciting underlying themes then give this one a listen today.

Artist: CULTCHILD

Album: D A R K F O R E S T

Label: Blvsphemy Records

Release Date: October 3, 2023

Location: United States

Genre: Witch House, Electronic, Trashwave

Written by James Sweetlove

Emanating from the deserts of Phoenix, Arizona is a strange pulsing bassline accompanied by ominous electronic rhythms, trap style beat and distorted electronic sounding vocals. Is there something extraterrestrial at play? No, its just D A R K F O R E S T, the new album from witch house artist CULTCHILD.

While CULTCHILD’s music is based in witch house he describes his trashwave, a term I wasn’t familiar with. I wasn’t able to find a clear definition but it seems to be an offshoot of trap based witch house music. With that being said, I should clarify that this is instrumental music, there are vocals but they are only in the form of hums and repeated, mixed phrases. The focus here is very much on the atmosphere created and the way that this atmosphere can co-exist with and elevate the core beats and basslines.

The album actually covers a lot of ground, with quite a bit of variety in tone, texture and tempo across its thirteen tracks. While I love some, naturally I don’t love others, but I always prefer an album that shows reach and variety and isn’t afraid to take chances over one that plays it safe. Plus taste is extremely subjective and I’m sure that there will be those that love what I don’t and think I’m an idiot for disagreeing with them.

I would rather talk about what I DO love than what I don’t though, so I want to give some specific praise to the album’s title track D A R K F O R E S T, wow, what a sonic journey. It leads through thick atmospheric planes, to haunting segments of almost horror soundtrack inspired elements and finally into upbeat captivating rhythms to close out an eight minute epic. The haunting silky smooth female vocals that line the track act in such stark contrast to the dirty trap beat and dark electronic elements that it makes them that much creepier. Start to finish this song is a winner.

The other track that I love is Human Obsolete, but for completely different reasons to the title track. Obsolete takes us to the other end of the spectrum, this is powerful, punchy industrial driven music with a dark edge and an alien or even supernatural feel to it. The underlying beat is incredible, almost martial industrial in nature, feeling as if squads of alien or demonic troops could march at attention down the streets of ruined cities. I also can’t get enough of those commanding distorted vocals that utter haunting phrases throughout the song.

Lastly I want to give praise to Human Obsolete, another favourite of mine on the album. This track has an almost apocalyptic doomsday cult feeling to it. Like something that would play and be sung the by the followers of a prophet as they commit ritual suicide in the name of some ancient deity that they wish to summon. There’s a fantastic underlying beat with an ominous energy to it paired with creepy menacing electronic elements, haunting choral singing and monstrous roars as well as other almost battle like noises.

Overall the album is a truly enjoyable listen that will appeal to most electronic fans but may also find some favour in the metal crowd. If you like dark brooding music with plenty of atmosphere and exciting underlying themes then give this one a listen today.




Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *