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Sonic Temple

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Reviews

Average Rating
★★★★½
(67 Reviews)

Metal Album Reviews[RSS]

  • How can you ever hope to follow up a masterpiece like Electric? That was one of the all time best hard rock albums ever, easily the best Cult album ever. So how did The Cult follow up their milestone of an album, with another amazing album. While Sonice Temple might not have as many classics as Electric and not all the songs are as good as on Electric Sonic Temple is still one of the very best hard rock/heavy metal albums to come out of the 1980’s.

    The Cult is one of those bands that to me can’t totaly be placed into one catagory or genra. Their style is early 1980’s New Wave meets heavy metal of the 1970’s and the result of those two styles is one very good rock band. Ian Astburys voice is something of Glen Danzig meets Jim Morrison of the legendary Doors, and the mans voice is nothing short of amazing. Billy Duffy’s guitar playing is always amazing, the man is truly one of the most underrated musicians/song wrighters of all time. Jamie Stewart is also one hell of a bass player. Most of the songs by The Cult would be lost without his playing. The whats more impressive about this band is that they have no drummer! Yeah you read correct no drummer, crazy huh?

    Sonic Temple is full of guitar driven bluesy hard rock. ‘Fire Woman’ is one of the bands all time best songs, and it has one of their best chorus’ as well. ‘American Horse’ is a song that was never released as a single but should have been because it would have easily been a massive rock hit. The albums big single ‘Sweet Soul Sister’ was not only one of the bands biggest hits if not the biggest but it is also one of the bands best songs period. The chorus is great, nice vocals, killer guitar solo by Duffy and the lyrics are perfect, I just cant beleave a band from England wrote a song the sounds so L.A. The only song on this album that I think I could have dont without is ‘Edie (Ciao Baby)’ because I just dont think the song is that good and it doest really fit in with the rest of the album.

    Sonic Temple is to The Cult as Goats Head Soup is to The Rolling Stones. The both came out after the bands biggest and best albums so they sometimes get bad reps, more so Goats Head Soup but the point is this is not an album you can measure to Electric it has to be appreciated as its own excelent album, and excelent it is!

    Posted on February 25, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • Sonic Temple was produced when The Cult were in thier prime. Ian Astbury and Billy Duffy produce some all time greats on this album with a distinct Rock feel to it. This CD is a brilliant driving CD turned up loud with some wonderfull guitar work and vocals.

    Posted on February 25, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • The Cult found themselves enveloped in a wave of expectations as they entered the studio in September of 1988. Their previous album “Electric” had been a surprise hit and subsequently earned them praise with the hard rock crowd starved for guitar licks from a Marshall turned up to 11. Interestingly, “Electric” had left fans of 1985’s “Love” unsatisfied and wanting more of Billy Duffy’s spacey, flanged guitar parts and Ian Astbury’s gothic poetry. Therefore, The Cult had not one but two musical demographics to mollify in the autumn of 1988. Enter “Sonic Temple”: a truly rich hybrid of gothic new-wave music and muscular hard rock riffing from a Les Paul. What is striking at first is how dynamic the album sounds; It isn’t static like “Electric” and not quite as watery as “Love”, thus it is it’s own monster: A true product of The Cult and not their influences. Nowhere is this more evident than on the album’s lead-off song “Sun King”, where Astbury proclaims “This is where it all begins”, only to be followed by an absolute explosion of sound from the guitars and rhythm section. Astbury’s lyrics on “Sonic Temple” are intensely dynamic and range from sounding like a dog in heat to the introspective musings of Warhol scenester Edie Sedgewick. Billy Duffy also shines on “Sonic Temple”, ripping out a few leads that would’ve impressed the shred crowd (particularly on “Sun King” and “Sweet Soul Sister”). His guitar sound is also much more textured than on “Electric” and has alot more width in the mix (undoubtedly because there is reverb on the guitar signal, unlike the super-dry Gretsch). What this all amounts to however is a well-produced hard rock album with alot of character and dynamics. You can forget about being pounded by the same tempo for 12 songs. I think this album should be considered one of the greatest of the 1980’s. Period. Take a chance and try it yourself though.

    Posted on February 24, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • If you must buy one recording by The Cult, this is the one. I would give very few records 5 stars, but 1989’s ‘Sonic Temple’ is one of them. Emerging from the late 1980s era of glam metal and mindless dance music, this was the welcomed return of rock music – a perfect combination of the ethereal elements of The Cult’s major label debut, ‘Love’, and the bombastic rock of their sophmore outing, ‘Electric’. Of course, everyone knows “Fire Woman,” the record’s catchy jam, and “Edie”, the tribute to Warhol’s muse which defied the contemporary power-ballad circa 1989. All the familiar Cult themes are here – peace (“Soldier Blue”), Native American (“American Horse”), drug-culture (“Medicine Train”). But unlike their other efforts, this record is top-notch from start to finish – the Zeppelinesque “Soul Asylum”, the anthemic “Wake Up Time for Freedom”, and the manic “New York City” (with appropriate backing vocals by Iggy Pop) – putting the ROCK back into Alternative Rock with the help of producer Bob Rock (who would go on to produce Metallica’s eponymous and most successful record, as well as the new Cult album).

    Posted on February 24, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • I’d forgotten about this LP until just recently. Yes, I’m showing my age kids – I used the term LP :) . After I pulled this album out of my vinyl stash last month. I threw it on the platter and put the needle to it In listening to it, I’m blown away how good it is over 10 years later. Truely great music is timeless and this album qualifies for this hands down. The album has no weak material on it. Once you get into “Sun King” and past “Fire Woman,” you are on ride that makes you stay on till the LP is over. Bob Rock does a first class job in the production and Ian ;) … oh,how can the boy wail. I purchased the CD last month because of it being remastered. In listening to the CD, I’ve appreciated how well this effort flows from stem to stern. It builds a mood and holds it tight. The CD with its seamless track list allows the flow and mood to really shine. I would strongly recommend to anyone wanting to get into essential 1980’s hard rock to snag this baby. All the notorious 1980’s hairspray and glam is left in the dust here. This is an album that harks to the days with rock meant something. Check it out – its class all the way.

    Posted on February 24, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now