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XIII Minutes - Cult Leader - track review


So I first heard this song a couple months ago, yeah, I'm one of the fortunate ones, I was a bit perplexed by the style.  Ever since I first heard of XIII Minutes, I have been Obsessed with their sound and the originality of tracks.  Taking the chance of sounding a bit oxymoronic, It was something that sounded familiar but different all in the same track.  We've been waiting a few years to hear some new tracks, sans the remix of the title track, Obsessed, from this ultra-talented band. It seemed like the founder and drummer for XIII Minutes, Jamie Kucinski, has been teasing this track for a while now, so the anticipation has been palpable to say the least, it has lived up to expectations.  With (another) new frontman Jerrod Cunningham, who not only sings the cleans but muddies the waters with the dirty vocals as well, brings a welcomed harshness and grittiness to the track.  Right before Thomas Wheat comes in with one ridiculous guitar riff after another, I am reminded a bit of The Flood by I Am The Pendragon with the "Heys"...of course they didn't have Jim Jones on their track, but then they come right back with that familiar XIII - Metal vibe - yes, it's possible that they have just created a new sub-genre in the metal scene.   Rounding out the 4-piece, is the multi faceted Preston Bell who not only tears up the bass guitar, but adds his vocals to give the band that fullness that you want to hear from a great rock/metal band.

So now that we got the whole XIII-Metal vibe out of the way, let's dig into what is actually my favorite part of music...the lyrics.  While I dig on banging drums, shredding guitars, scaled bass lines, the lyrics are what really pulls me in not only to the music, but most importantly, to the ministry behind the music.  Whenever I write a review, I really don't take into consideration the original intent of the song or what the writer wants to convey, (sorry Jamie), I simply write about how the song hits me and what I take out of it. 

The track itself is pretty upfront on the intent of the message, so in this instance I am probably in step with the lyricist.   There are so many "cult leaders'' (lowercase intended)  in today's society.  I could, but won't name people that instantly come to mind when I hear this song.  Those so-called "leaders'', whether they be false prophets in charge of mega churches, or any and all public people that we blindly follow even though we may have an initial inkling that something they are saying (or singing) doesn't sit right in our gut.  However, if you keep listening to the same sermon, political speeches, pundits on TV that "always tell the truth" it starts wearing you down to a point where you start questioning your initial, and probably well grounded instincts.   Then, you are primed, as the cover art so aptly implies... are ready to "drink the Kool-Aid".. (or Flavor Aid if you are akin to Guayanese history)

What I really dig about this song, and a lot of Christian music in general, is it pushes me back to my bible to make sure the drivel I spew, is founded in biblical theology. I, like many, believe we are living in the last days, but I also believe that "living in the last days" is relative to the world and the society a person is living in.  There have been cult-leaders and false prophets throughout history, and I don't believe we have yet seen  the false prophet that John spoke of in Revelations 13, but we have seen a myriad of false teachers.  It seems to be increasing at an alarming rate through the benefit (and harm) of the ease of information that is available to us.

 I harken back to Acts 13 when Paul and Barnabas went to preach on Cyprus and came across the false prophet Bar-Jesus.  When I heard this song, it struck me that I am falling short of actually calling out the works of these false teachers, prophets and cult-leaders.  I need to continue to work on myself so I have the tenacity of Paul and look at the these "falsies" and say to them - "You who are filled with deception and fraud; you son of the devil; you enemy of all righteousness; will you not cease to pervert the right ways of the Lord?"  If I only had the will and courage of Paul.

So apologies to XIII Minutes if I misconstrued what you were looking for when you composed this track, but I won't apologize on how it lit a fire under me to be more convicted on staying true to the teaching of the One True King.

XIII Minutes did it again with track and I know the anticipation for them to drop another track soon will be tangible to say the least.  For an independent artists, I know the hurdles of dropping tracks, much less EPs or Albums can be a daunting task, given the expense and logistics, so if you feel led, and are in a position to help, go ahead and grab Cult Leader off of whatever service you currently are buying your music from.  (I grabbed my copy off of iTunes)

 As I say multiple times on our live shows, "streaming is great, but if you can afford to, help the artist out by adding it to your library.

I will now slide to the edge of my chair in eager anticipation of the next drop by XIII Minutes.

XIII Minutes is:

Jerrod Cunningham - Lead Vocals

Thomas Wheat - Guitars/Back Up Vocals

Preston Bell - Bass/Back Up Vocals

Jamie Kucinski - Drummer / Founder

God Bless and remember,

Be Hated - Be Saved

Drew -

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