Welcome to Curating Resistance, a new series designed to promote bands, artists, labels and more from the world of heavy music, with a particular focus on those who use their platform to promote progressive causes or speak out against injustice and bigotry in the metal scene and beyond. After focusing on the Antifascist Black Metal Network last week, one of the first bands we wanted to highlight is black metal outfit Cultum Draculesti.
The duo’s self-titled album dropped back in May, with their debut full-length Antigone The Martyr coming just three months prior. Despite such a short turnaround, the band’s second album is easily one of the best black metal records of the year thus far, absolutely oozing in atmosphere, as if the whole thing were recorded in an ancient graveyard under the light of the full moon. Though the band do rawness and aggression as well as anyone, with Antigone The Martyr in particular making great use of punky guitars, their USP is the sinister aura that sits like a heavy fog over each track. This is vampyric black metal of the highest order.
The band’s social media presence is a brilliantly fun accompaniment to their sound too, where they wholly commit to the black metal aesthetic – with black and white images, alongside which they refer to themselves as a “wraithcult” and call the studio their “lair” – but simultaneously refuse to give in to the evil posturing or overly serious, anti-fun rhetoric that so much of the black metal scene needlessly adheres to. Band members Andras (he/they) and Demeter Wept (she/her), the former also of experimental ambient project MELVL, use their Instagram to express their “eternal darkest beauty love”, share pictures with cats, support trans rights and tear down NSBM. Their energy is absolutely infectious, and makes diving into their music all the more enjoyable.
If you haven’t heard Cultum Draculesti yet, you owe it to yourself to check them out right now. The Bandcamp sales go towards this GoFundMe for Andras’ gender-affirming surgery, so be sure to pick up an album or two and donate on the page if you can.
Words: George Parr