Sunday 11 April 2021

A Culture Of Killing - The Feast Of Vultures, The Cry Of A Dove

Labels: Drunken Sailor Records/Tape Or Die

Formats: Vinyl/Tape/Digital

Release Date: 18 Mar 2019


1. Bridges

2. A Cry For Help

3. Promised World

4. Victims

5. Order

6. The Toast Of Despair

7. Problem

8. All Will Be Fine

9. Futuro?

It's been a couple of months since I reviewed the self-titled LP from Italian anarcho/post-punks A Culture Of Killing. While sifting through an ever growing review schedule, I noticed that I hadn't written about the band's second album The Feast Of Vultures, The Cry Of A Dove. It was originally released on tape via Tape Or Die in early 2019, before it was given a vinyl release by UK punk label Drunken Sailor Records in 2020, becoming the second record from A Culture Of Killing to be released on wax by them in the same year. 

Anarcho punk has always been slightly on the periphery for me but A Culture Of Killing’s take on the sub-genre is very much one of melody and harmony, especially on album opener ‘Bridges”. The dual male/female vocals aren’t something I recall from the the self-titled album. That album seemed darker. The instrumentation here is still crisp and tuneful, while the percussion is sensitively delivered.

‘A Cry For Help’ begins with a sample about the torture of animals and what follows is very much inspired, musically at least, by The Clash and while it may at times sound bleak, it isn’t. It sends a clear message.

There’s an oddly chilled out vibe on ‘Promised World’, which isn’t completely unexpected. In terms of structure and tempo, it’s a mid-paced song that makes use of riffing and time-signatures that bring to mind dub/ska at times (to these ears anyway).

They’re back to their full-flowing best on ‘Victims’. The influences that A Culture Of Killing wear on their sleeves help them to produce gloriously old-school punk, which is precise, clear and engaging, despite it’s gloomy and sometimes anarchic undertones. I can see this record being enjoyed by a wide variety of music fans, even if they’re not familiar with the current punk underground. 

Instrumentally, everything is so tight. It’s strange to hear an Italian band of this ilk, as I (sometimes wrongly) associate the country with progressive and more operatic music. A Culture Of Killing proves that there’s much more to their homeland’s music scene on ‘Order’ and I fear that they’re now going to lead me down another rabbit hole. If you’re more familiar than I am with the Italian punk community, please send some more listening suggestions my way!

While ‘Order’ guides you into the album’s second half in a strangely positive way, ‘The Toast Of Despair’ isn’t as forgiving. It’s not because it’s particularly heavy or anything, it’s far from reaching that dynamic. There’s just a mournful feel to the song that’s hard to ignore. More like a dower folk song, it certainly changes the mood somewhat. Next up is ‘Problem’, which is the album’s shortest song. The Feast of Vultures, The Cry Of A Dove benefits from being very consistent, so much so that no songs on it sound like filler or like they’re out of place.

The 80’s pop is strong on ‘All Will Be Fine’, which could well be a case of reverse psychology if you overthink it! If you ignore that sentiment and let it guide you, it’s really just a minimalist punk song that’s meant to be appreciated and enjoyed. Album closer ‘Futuro?’ follows in very much the same way, but with the dual vocals providing extra depth for one last time. The control and sensitivity that A Culture Of Killing maintains throughout is the reason that this record is so effortless to listen to. There aren’t many albums you can say that about these days I think. 

You can stream and download the album directly from A Culture Of Killing below:-

You can still buy vinyl copies from Drunken Sailor Records below:-

Tape copies from Tape Or Die are sold out.

Drunken Sailor Records -

Tape Of Die -

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