As stand-in singer with the surviving Doors (godawfully rechristened Doors of the 21st Century at first, then the much better Riders on the Storm) on their tour a couple of years back, Cult lead singer Ian Astbury finally got to indulge his deep-seated Jim Morrison fantasies to the hilt. It shows on Born Into This, the British goth-metal group's first album since 2001's Beyond Good and Evil. Astbury calls out all the poseurs on "Dirty Little Rockstar," and although the idea of a 46-year-old man calling anyone a dirty little rock star is a little creepy, his eviscerating the "sick little hipsters" is totally endearing. Elsewhere, Astbury's signature blend of metal-god narcissism and shaman-like mysticism is in full bloom on the acoustic "Holy Mountain," glammy "Diamonds" and Bush rebuke "Tiger in the Sun," which oddly resembles the Cure's "Fascination Street." Guitarist Billy Duffy has his leads and fills sharpened to an Electric point (see "Savages"), bassist Chris Wyse's sleek lines carry half the songs and former White Zombie drummer John Tempesta on skins gives the album a steel-plated backbone. No better way to ring in Halloween week than a return to the Cult's sonic temple.
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