SONS OF CULT – Back To The Beginning
- by ER
- Posted on 22-02-2023
RELEASE YEAR: 2023
BAND URL: https://facebook.com/SonsofCult/
This review is the 5th and the final one in the 5 album expose on the work of Palma de Mallorca Spanish vocalist, guitarist and bassist Vicente Javier Payá Galindo, the creator of 5 metal bands: Golgotha, Unbounded Terror, Decrapted, Bis.nte and Sons Of Cult – all currently on David Sánchez “Dave Rotten” González’s Xtreem Records or its subdivision Fighter Records.
“Back To The Beginning”, the debut album by the Spanish heavy metal hard rock quintet Sons Of Cult, formed in 2020 and featuring Vicente Payá (guitars), Jaume Vilanova (vocals), Dan Garcia (guitars), Vicky Offidiani (bass) and Jordi Segura Gelabert (drums), is the simplest and, to these ears, the least interesting offering from the five albums created by Payá and presented here as part of my aforementioned series. By Payá’s own admission the band exists primarily as a tribute to classic heavy metal and hard rock of the 80s and early 90s and is therefore not aiming to create something particularly innovative or groundbreaking. Quite simply, if you enjoy early Ozzy Osbourne, hair metal and a little bit of 90s Megadeth to spice it up, this album might be to your liking but my score stands purely on the quality of the songwriting and that is fair to very good, since the understanding and the execution of the era stylings seem to be superb, the album just sounding like something straight from the late 80s and early 90s thanks to Paya’s and Javier Fernandez’s excellent production and mix.
The highlights are definitely the anthemic and catchy “But Not Me” (which is one of the several tributes to heavy music and its proven uplifting power on the listener including this reviewer), graced with fantastic solos and leads, as well as the AC/DC-ic “Always”, the two of the best cuts if you don’t count the excellent take on MSG cover “Desert Song” which ends the album much better than it was opened with the rather not too ambitious “Fighters” which reminds me of why I am not a big fan of Manowar or “knight” metal in general. Less exciting but still engaging are “Fake” And “Evil Trail” with the guitarwork strongly reminiscent of the early 90s Paradise Lost, no surprise to Payá fans such as myself, as well as the “Youthanasia” Megadeth sounding “I Don’t Care” which influence spills right over into “War”, which brings me to the least favorite tracks.
The aforementioned opener “Fighters” does not stand as the only example of annoyingly repetive songwriting where the chorus is barely distinguishable from the verse , basically the song title sung over a slightly modified verse (my least favorite feature of much of heavy metal, hard rock and even some of the thrash of the era), but rather provides a blueprint for 3 more cuts in a very similar vein with varying degrees of complexity but generally not songs I would call standouts at any rate due to that particular flaw. These are “The Power Of Music”, “War” (despite that clear “Youthanasia” Megadeth vibe) and “I Wanna Go Out”. Part of the problem seems to lie in Vilanova’s extremely one-dimensional (so as not to say boring) almost certainly purposefully Ozzy Osbournesque vocals which were originally so to begin with and can and do take away from the quality of the songs, whereby great songs could have been fantastic, good songs very good and fair songs good with a more ferocious and hungrier singer. Another thing is, though, the songs themselves. Their plots can be quite predictable in their own right but that “Fake” and “Power Of Music” have almost exactly the same chorus is bad business in this type of music where a song stands or falls on how different it is from its companions. Meanwhile, the only thing consistently engaging and creatively different from track to track are fantastic solos, particularly in, interestingly, the weaker tracks.
In conclusion, it seems that Sons Of Cult are great musicians and can write good stuff but they don’t appear to be interested in doing the former consistently, despite the fact that, instrumentally the album is yet another testimony to Vicente Payá’s prowess as an outstanding musician. For these reasons “Back To The Beginning” is a frustrating album which does not benefit from repeated exposure to boot. Well, hopefully the guys will take that to heart and under consideration in creating the follow up because the debut is a rather mediocre affair.
As this is the last offering in my 5 album series, I rank them thus: 1.Golgotha (5.5/6), 2. Unbounded Terror (5/6), 3. Decrapted (5/6), 4. Bis-nte (5/6) and 5. Sons Of Cult (4/6), which happens to serendipitously repeat the order of publication. Regardless of scoring and rank I invite you to check out what this incredible versatile guitarist and songwriter Vicente Payá, has thus far created as he’s clearly only getting started.