Cult of Fire - Ctvrta Symfonie Ohne
Iron Bonehead Productions
Symphonic Metal
2 songs (12'53")
Release year: 2014
Cult of Fire
Reviewed by Alex
Surprise of the month

Big thanks need to go to Zad who keeps raising the mention of this little known Czech black metal band called Cult of Fire. So here is to hoping its profile elevates even further with this review. Their fascination with many things Indian and Sanskrit now seemingly over, the Czechs turned their attention to their homeland on the 2 song EP titled Ctvrta Symfonie Ohne, which I think loosely translates to the 4th Symphony of Fire. Even more specifically, Czech composer Bedrzich Smetana was the inspiration. The man lived a full life, which unfortunately ended in tragedy, his final days spent confined to a mental institution. Ctvrta Symfonie Ohne being fully instrumental, I am not sure if Cult of Fire was reduced to a duo on the EP, but my understanding that main members guitarist Vlad and drummer Tom remain.

One of Smetana's career highlights was his series of symphonic pieces called Ma Vlast (translated as My Homeland). I have not had a chance to hear all of them, but one of the most famous, Vltava, is both the highlight of Smetana's opus and the aforementioned Cult of Fire EP. It is no wonder Smetana is considered the forefather of Czech national music when compositions like Vltava left his pen. Named after the river which flows through Prague's heart, this masterpiece epitomizes Czech nature and spirit. And there is absolutely no arguing with the main melody here. No wondering Eastern Europeans in 19th century were humming it all across the continent and Israel even made it into its national anthem called Hatikwa.

Black metal not being the self-fulfilling prophecy, Cult of Fire preserves symphonic spirit of Smetana and makes it thundering with power. Guitars here sound like a brass orchestra, drums are expansive and absolutely devastating in their volume. The whole experience is massive, proud, heroic, tragic and historic, just like Smetana intended it to be.

The second track, Vah, is no less massive but a bit more serene and melancholic. Named after the biggest river in Slovakia, Vah is more "watery" and has softer flow to it, continuous blast replacing more cerebral and rigid double bass of Vltava. The solo still sounds like something a horn would do. Not sure how Cult of Fire pull this off but the symphonic effect is fantastic and you know orchestra was not hired to play the part.

If earlier efforts didn't wake you up to Cult of Fire then perhaps this symphonic effort should.

Killing Songs :
Alex quoted no quote
Other albums by Cult of Fire that we have reviewed:
Cult of Fire - Nirvana reviewed by Goat and quoted 80 / 100
Cult of Fire - Moksha reviewed by Goat and quoted 72 / 100
Cult of Fire - मृत्यु का तापसी अनुध्यान reviewed by Goat and quoted 90 / 100
Cult of Fire - Triumvirát reviewed by Goat and quoted 84 / 100
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