REVIEW: The Cult – Hidden City (2016)

scan_20161008THE CULT – Hidden City (2016 Dine Alone)

There have been a few times in Cult history when it seemed unlikely they would be making any more albums.  Thankfully, these fears were unfounded.  Thankfully, because The Cult are so damn great at making albums.

Their latest is Hidden City, and it continues their upwards trajectory.  Teamed up once again with Bob Rock, the band created a powerful recording, very Cult-like and loud.  It is a cohesive and impressive collection of songs that tend to defy individual description.  It is easy to pick our favourites such as “No Love Lost”, “Birds of Paradise” or “Hinterland” (my personal fave), but Hidden City is more than the sum of its parts.  Its components are strong compositions that highlight the strengths of the band:  Ian Astbury’s powerful and unique voice, and Billy Duffy’s unmistakable riff stylings.  Hidden City collects the light and shade and presents them as a multi-coloured hue.

Its grooves are huge but textured.  The songs reveal more hooks the more you listen.  The Cult’s performances are top notch.  The album is electrifying.  Hidden City must be considered a latter-day high water mark, an album that builds on the last few records and continues pushing forward.  The Cult rule again.

5/5 stars

This is a 200 word review in the tradition of the #200wordchallenge

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65 comments

  1. I like this one a lot, Mike. I agree that while there are a couple of tracks that stand out, it’s very much an album that works as an album, with the songs complimenting each other… definitely some thought went into the song cycle.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. HMO, A few years back the Cult (Astbury at least) was claiming the album format was dead and they intended to go the EP route but thankfully they ditched that idea and instead we get Hidden City :)

    And YES to this one Mike. Agree completely and while the inner booklet is rather plain gotta shout out fer that cool cover art! \m/

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Actually I forgot those came in hard copy. Have them all digital but never on CD. How was the packaging? Cardboard digi deal I’m guessing?

        Hidden City sounds to these ears like they finally captured where they wanted to be with the self titled and The Witch single from their Lovers collection way back. Still not a fan of Astbury’s Morrison/Nick Cave nudge on each record of late LOL but no arguing this is a fantastic record and the best from The Cult since the hugely underrated Beyond&Evil \m/

        https://mikeladano.com/2014/08/27/review-the-cult-beyond-good-and-evil-australian-bonus-track/

        Am I the only one who too who thinks GOAT sounds like an Electric leftover? Great stuff, although if pressed my hat goes off to Dark Energy and Hinterland, kickass stuff!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Yes they come in a cardboard digi, with a plastic tray. The CD was two-sided. On side one was the CD, and on side two was a DVD with some weird “movie” that Astbury made…about 5 minutes long total.

          I own the first Capsule, and I actually did review it here. But I’ll tell you it was worth buying for the live version of “Rain” which I like to tell people is my favourite version of the song, period!

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    1. This album just slid right out and needs to be heard! This past summer when Wolfchild and Duffy showed up in Tbay they went 5 tracks deep off of this album and they came across fantastic live! And thats not the Booze talking either! haha

      Liked by 2 people

        1. yup…..along with Dark Energy/Birds Of Paradise/GOAT and Deeply Ordered Chaos..like the fact that they didn’t play it safe with the setlist. Sure lots of nostalgia but with a current focus on the Now! Gotta respect that!

          Liked by 2 people

        1. Did I ever tell you what I wanted to do with a Cult T? I don’t own one, is the problem.

          I want to do a video about any random subject, wearing my CULT shirt…in front of the local Church of Scientology….

          :)

          Liked by 1 person

        2. Easy for you to say! Do you see what happens when you try to film outside a Church of Scientology? I would definitely be “poking the bear” if I go through with it.

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        3. I thought so. I watched the whole thing on youtube. He was totally being stalked and poked and prodded and they made him explode! Good show though. Think they can make me do that?

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  3. 5/5 for sure Mikey! Hidden City is a solid piece of rock! When I think of this album 2 things come to mind..
    1-How in this day and age Ian/Billy still have enough creative juice flowing to put a real solid album..
    and
    2- I think back about a year ago when I preordered this on iTunes and u had no idea there was even a Cult album on the horizon! Ha..Ol Dekes put one by ya!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Geoff. I’m not sure if a 5/5 is as potent in this format or not, that’s up for debate. Sometimes a 5/5 must be justified. I didn’t need to justify this one, thanks to Deke’s powerful review in the spring!

      Like

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