Album review: The Cult deftly climbs new heights on Hidden City

Led by mystically inclined singer and lyricist Ian Astbury and down-to-earth riff monster Billy Duffy, the band’s 10th album rocks fiercely with both a heavy heart and a light touch.

Hidden City by The Cult. Courtesy Cooking Vinyl

Hidden City

The Cult

(Cooking Vinyl)

Three stars

The Cult have had their ups and downs through their 30-year career.

Hidden City shows the band climbing new heights.

Led by mystically inclined singer and lyricist Ian Astbury and down-to-earth riff monster Billy Duffy, the band’s 10th album rocks fiercely with both a heavy heart and a light touch.

Those who like their Cult tracks rocking should check out the driving Dark Energy, No Love Lost and G O A T – the latter featuring ferocious work from drummer John Tempesta.

Deeply Ordered Chaos reflects on last year's Charlie Hebdo attacks in Paris, with strings underscoring the drama as Astbury's brief, repetitive phrases also draw attention to the tragedy in Syria.

In Blood is a slow burn, its Astbury-as-Jim Morrison lyrics melding film-noir scenes with wolves and daggers, while the chugging, six-plus minutes of Birds of Paradise are vintage end-of-1980s Cult.

The relationship between Astbury and Duffy is famously volatile but they are rock steady on the splendid Hidden City.

artslife@thenational.ae