Death metal is having a banner year with established bands releasing comebacks, new bands making their mark, and fans of the genre are reaping the benefits of all of it. And with banner years come market saturation so for an up and coming outfit to really leave a mark, it’s not enough to just have a good death metal album. Enter London’s Cult Burial with their self-titled debut and what you’ll find is a band unafraid to employ weapons of sludge, doom and post-metal but also put a spotlight on stellar guitar work. The scattering of quick solos, the odd riff breaks, and well timed arpeggios all signal that Cult Burial is not your average death metal band and make it a point to stand out with stellar musicianship and songwriting abilities. The flow of the album is such that it draws attention by never staying with a train of thought across any two tracks but in totality is a very cohesive piece of work and a shocker, then, that this is just their full length debut. Just ahead of the album’s release we had the chance to pose our set of Profile questions to guitarist and drummer Simon Langford so head below to see how it went down and be sure to visit the links contained within to show them some support.
How did you first get into playing music, and have you achieved the level of success that you hoped for?
When I was 15, I moved to a new school where music was a big thing and they encouraged everyone to be musical somehow. I wanted to get involved. A few months later I had to move again, and had to live alone for a while. My Dad’s boss would meet me each week and give me money for food, but I’d eat as cheap as possible and save the rest. After a few months I saved enough for a guitar and went to a weird second hand guitar shop and saw a 1982 Greco (Japanese brand) Flying-V guitar. I couldn’t afford it, but I kept coming back and eventually the owner of the store let me have it. After I got it, I started to teach myself guitar. That was the start I guess. Success? I get to make the records and music I want and I love doing that. I consider that a success. If anyone likes it too, then that’s a bonus.
What’s the most you have ever debased yourself to get your band onto a show, into a magazine or otherwise promoted, covered, and praised? (If you don’t have a story, please tell us any funny/embarrassing story.)
I wouldn’t. If someone doesn’t like what they hear or doesn’t want to put the record in their magazine or whatever, that’s fine.
What do you see as some of the great things happening in metal and what are some of the worst things happening inside the scene right now?
The sheer volume of records out there is a great thing. Every week I find a new record that I am really into. It’s easy to make and distribute music to the masses and there’s some people making amazing debut records straight from nowhere. The flip-side of that is that there’s some low quality releases and stuff that’s not particularly unique, but that’s ok, it’s pretty easy to filter out.
It seems that now everyone has a passion for some cause and that those people are very open about displaying their passions. This is probably a very, very good (and progressive) thing socially. What are some of the most important issues (social/political/humorous/etc.) for you and how do you insert those issues into your music?
Cult Burial’s themes are about the self, about the bleakness of self-loathing and the feelings of emptiness and nothingness that follow and how that is dealt with. That’s a pretty common social issue. Politics makes me feel physically sick, there will never be politics in any of my songs.
What, or who, got you into metal and how old were you? How did your family take the news?
The first heavy record I bought would have been by Sepultura. I loved the Roots-era of that band. I don’t remember there being much else at the time metal wise I was into. It was a few years after I started getting back into metal then I just got into heavier and heavier stuff.
What advice do you have for aspiring music critics and outlets out there? How can we all better serve the genre in the eyes of a hard-working musician?
Almost everyone I have come across has been approachable and friendly. I guess the critics are bombarded with new music everyday and it’s hard for them to know what to include and what not to. I know a lot of the critics work in their spare time alongside their regular jobs and do it for love of the music, and they are on a similar journey to the bands they cover. If they like a band, and feel compelled to write about it, they will. That’s good enough for me.
What’s your goal? You guys thinking world domination? Maybe saving a continent? Maybe invading one? Do you guys have day jobs or hobbies you want to share? Whatever it is, please let us know.
Cult Burial’s debut album is going to sell 100 million copies. I will get a chat show on prime-time television and ultimately become Mayor of London. I will then install speakers throughout the streets and play death and black metal constantly to the masses. Everyone will be more content with themselves. Britain’s Got Talent will become Britain’s Got Blastbeats, and it will be an hour every Saturday night of unheard of drummers knocking out 200 bpm+ rhythms. The masses will love it. Strictly Come Dancing will become Strictly Come Headbang and it will be couples standing in a ballroom head banging to their favourite track. Everyone will receive a 10 score, no matter what happens. The world will be a better place.
When you’re not obsessing over your own material, what are some of your favorite albums to listen to currently? (Feel free to include non-metal)
Albums that I’ve particularly enjoyed recently: Rebel Wizard – Magical Mystical Indifference, Aversio Humanitatis – Behold The Silent Dwellers, Mo’ynoq – Dreaming In a Dead Language, Gaerea – Limbo, Oranssi Pazuzu – Mestarin kynsi, and End – Pariah
What is the 12-month outlook for you or your band? Any specific events on the horizon that the masses should be aware of?
The debut self-titled album will be out 6 November 2020. A track from the album entitled “Dethroner” will drop with a video before that sometime in October.
Summarize your band in exactly one word. (Disclosure: If you include additional words, we will select our favorite for the publication)
Many thanks to Simon for his time!