Southern Death Cult –> Death Cult –> The Cult
So given the incredibly detailed timeline I created above, you can see that Death Cult was a brief, transitional step in the development of the band that eventually became The Cult. They were pretty much Death Cult for about one year (1983), releasing the four-song EP Brothers Grimm and the two-song Gods Zoo. “Horse Nation,” the opening track on Brothers Grimm, later became the opening track on the band’s first album as The Cult, 1984s Dreamtime. See how it all fits together? In high school my friend John was a huge fan of The Cult. We took a road trip to Vancouver B.C. to buy bootleg records, and I seem to recall him being stoked about finding some Southern Death Cult and Death Cult stuff there that he brought home. He played the hell out of those.
Death Cult is very identifiable as The Cult. There’s no mistaking Ian Astbury’s voice and Billy Duffy’s signature guitar riffs. No one does plaintive, beseeching, begging desperation like Astbury, who alway seems to be in a state where he might just lose control at any given moment. Musically The Cult always sounds like they recorded their songs in some old European cathedral with the sort of echoey sound in both the music and the vocals, and that’s certainly true on Brothers Grimm as well. I love their sound, though I have to confess it does make the songs kind of start to sound the same after a bit.
The jacket of my copy is totally thrashed as you can probably tell, and I had to do a serious cleaning job on the vinyl itself, but it seems to have held up pretty well. At four songs it’s the perfect length for me, and I know this one will be getting more play.