Cult Fiend: Chicago Crossover Thrash Unit Make Ferocious Debut via Germs of Rot (PREMIERE)

Photo: Alicia Theobald

Bound together by a shared admiration for '80s thrash, NYHC, and early death metal, Cult Fiend formed in 2021.

The Windy City-based quartet met each other from the local scene there, working together at Chicago Music Exchange. "I met (guitarist) Ryan in 2015 when his band played Memphis, where I’m originally from," Cult Fiend singer Walt Stallings tells me. 

"For years, we talked about eventually starting a heavy project together. Shortly after the other three guys started getting together to write songs as a side project during the pandemic, Ryan asked me to come do vocals."

Now that you've gotten some background information, dive into Germs of Rot, Cult Fiend's two-track demo:

Cult Fiend vocalist Walt Stallings shared the following about their new release:

"The title of the album/song, 'Germs of Rot,' comes from the Frantz Fanon quote, 'Imperialism leaves behind germs of rot which we must clinically detect and remove from our land but from our minds as well.'

"The song, like the rest of the album, reckons with the pervasiveness of imperialism and cultural domination. There’s this very effective, dominant societal narrative that makes people believe that the horrors of humanity and the inequity of the world are natural and inevitable, rather than intentional social constructions.

"I was teaching online at the time I wrote the majority of the lyrics, witnessing my students experience extreme loss and grief, and looking for ways to show them that these systems that dictate so much of our lives are not eternal. Be angry. But be hopeful."

Germs of Rot will hit streaming outlets on November 18th with a full EP following in January.

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