XIII Minutes: Becoming The Ultimate Cult Leader

When progressive metalcore band XIII Minutes burst onto the scene back in 2016, I was not sure what to expect, with founding member Jamie Kucinski the master of promotion and oh gosh, ALL those memes…. ALL the time!!!! However, this eventually created such a stir that it caught the attention of former Rottweiler Records boss and owner Shawn Browning.

Since their signing in 2016, the group went through a few line-up changes, released a whole bunch of D45s that would feature on their debut, and also quite successful full-length Obsessed (2019). Then as the band went into hiatus in early 2020, in the year of covid and then next came their remodeling as an outfit…ultimately re-establishing themselves with a brand new final line-up in 2023 featuring Jamie Kucinski (drums), Thomas Wheat (guitars), Preston Bell (bass) and Jerrod Cunningham (vocals)…

It has been a mere five years since their debut release Obsessed, and now the band have dropped their brand-new single “Cult Leader”, which has been promoted to the point of the second coming. My first impression is hence to the likeness of Faith No More when they introduced their song “Superhero” back in 2015 from their last studio full-length Sol Invictus after previously being disbanded since 1998.

The energy, the sound, and no matter how they try to pull the ‘we are different to what we were’ kind of thing, the direction is just somehow the same, yet with different vocalists and a fresh resolve. No matter how you put it, it’s still the classic XIII Minutes, with a few things that stand out however: Jerrod’s vocal delivery is clean as a whistle and on point – however I do find the aggressive vocals are missing the mark, more forced – but yet one can tell that he is gradually getting there, and we definitely know it’s not easy.

Musically, the melodic metalcore that we have known to love remains regardless of the personnel and vocal change, in honestly a number of changes throughout, but yet keeps the tempo going..,. The main thing we know and hear is the connection and the tightknit group they are.

The Metal Onslaught Magazine gives the track a 9 out of 10.



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