WITH: BRIAN MAGAR, REBECCA MAGAR
Art: Rebecca Magar
HMA: Tell us about the album title and lyrics.
Brian: The album title ‘Of Fire and Sorcery’ is taken from the last vocal line delivered on the album (minus the ‘Iron Spider’ bonus track). All of the lyrics revolve around the Warlock pictured on the cover (some tell tales about the Warlock, while others are from the Warlock’s own perspective). The album is essentially about his rise to power.
HMA: How would you describe your music?
Brian/Rebecca: Prepare for down-tuned guitars, lots of distortion, plodding drums, sneering vocals, and bombastic synths. We sound like an evil wizard riding a motorcycle. Depressive and pessimistic views about life are antithetical to our philosophy when it comes to Cultic. We deliver the ‘Doom’ from a place of power, not from melancholia or defeat.
We’re all for whatever people want to put in their bodies. However, we’re not a ‘drug’ band. We don’t have any of those themes. We’re propelled by fantasy, storytelling, and catharsis.
HMA: What inspired you to get into heavy music?
Brian: I was introduced to heavy metal by my babysitter in 1984. It’s been all downhill from there. As far as doom metal goes, outside of Black Sabbath, I think the first breadth of bands I really latched onto was grindcore-adjacent doom bands in the 90s. Grief, Noothgrush, Corrupted and so on. Everything just branched off from there through exploration. Doom is a metal genre that I like almost all facets of. I can’t say that about other metal genres.
Rebecca: I’ve always had really broad tastes in music. I’m willing to experiment with any genre, but metal (especially doom metal) has its special place. I grew up in a strictly religious household. I was homeschooled, isolated, and angry – the only people I had access to were people who I knew were working hard to manipulate my worldviews and who didn’t understand me. I would look into their eyes and see them staring straight through me. It wasn’t easy being an atheist in that atmosphere. My interest in metal and our band name, ‘Cultic,’ were sparked by opposition to organised religion and a desire to find some outlet to express my feelings about it. When I met Brian, I entered a whole world of underground metal that I hadn’t experimented with before. As Brian said, it was all downhill from there.
HMA: Have you had any events in your life that have influenced your creativity?
Brian: If I had to define one life event that positively influenced my creativity, it would be attending design school. It forced me to view the entire world through a different lens. This bleeds through in almost every facet of my life, including music.
Rebecca: I had a lot of time to myself as a kid, and I would spend it doodling dragons and unicorns and fantasising about weird stuff. Being isolated gave me a lot of time to practice my art. I have a lot in common with Brian because design school helped give me more perspective on that creativity and turn it into something more purposeful. But meeting Brian has probably had the biggest impact on who I am now. I feel like we’re on the same mental wavelength. He gave me permission to be myself and have fun making stuff. Being able to create things together is an added bonus.
HMA: What can you tell us about the music’s influence and inspiration?
Brian: Going back to High Command, my main influence was Winter. I really wanted to mould Cultic into something with similar aesthetics. Celtic Frost and Hellhammer fit in there, too (mainly for the overall tone and delivery) Goatlord. Maybe a pinch of Godflesh? This one may sound strange, but I’m going to say VON too. VON’s music is really straightforward, and that’s been part of our overall approach.