People throw around the names of The Cult's three iconic records (Love, Electric & Sonic Temple) when reviewing Choice of Weapon. While they're right to mention them, they should avoid drawing steadfast comparisons - this album still sounds like The Cult, but it's a kaleidoscopic version - as much as tracks on here could fit on those three amazing albums, some other tracks sound like the albums people try and write out of the band's history. Elemental Light sounds like it could fit on the band's self-titled 1994 album (admit it!) with it's odd rhythm and slow-burn build up to a curveball chorus. For The Animals would've fit onto Born Into This quite easily, just listen to Born Into This-era tune War Pony Destroyer. The guitar lick that opens The Wolf sounds like Love-era Cult, and there's a distinct Jimmy Page flavour throughout. Of course, all these points, to a Cult fan, are positives.
While quality of the tracks ranges from superb (For The Animals), to good (Wilderness Now), the majority of the record is astounding and pure Cult. Astbury's voice is richer than ever, Billy is still coming up with the goods, and the rhythm section John and Chris are providing the Cult with their most versatile beats and basslines since Electric.
Objectively, there's a lot here that could be deemed hammy (borrowed riffs and obtuse lyrics) but subjectively, as a Cult fan? It's tremendous, right down to Ian's weird vamping towards the end of Pale Horse. There's plenty for new and old fans alike to dig here.
PS. Get the deluxe edition, as the Capsule EPs included on the second disc and are worth playing loud
The Cult have delivered their most listenable album since Electric.