In the beginning was the lamb. In the middle of a sacrificial pentagram, in the middle of a ritual. The lamb was the last of its kind. Thanks to that a prophecy was supposed not to fulfil and a deity of The Old Faith was supposed to stay in its prison. This is what the priests said. Very conservative ones. But fate had a different plan. The lamb stood in front of the deity and got a deal: “I will give you life again, but at a price” – said The One Who Waits. Was that a pact with the devil or with god – doesn’t matter, because the price was “only” to start a cult. Whatever, why not.

We have to be a bit of a social activist.

At least, surviving is what the Massive Monster studio’s game is all about. Similarly to Don’t Starve by Klei Entertainment studio, actually. It’s similar to such an extent that one can accidentally ascribe both games to one of the creators. But there’s nothing wrong about it. Imitation is the highest form of admiration and the latter is very important in Cult Of The Lamb. As the entire cult’s manager we have to be a bit of a social activist and a priest, as well as a bit of a knight of our own crusade. Both roles are played also by River Boy’s music – so Narayana Johnson’s known from the Willow Beats duo.

The Diasporic Identity of Game Music

There in our village the music hums something. It settles on the grass, on the trees, on the faces of our cultists. It’s quite cheerful, but subtle. In his works Narayana often refers to his childhood and teenage years when he spent a lot of time close to nature in the Northern Rivers in Australia – a region full of forests and rivers. It’s audible even in electronics’ performance. Also in Cult Of The Lamb (for example in Start A Cult or Work And Worship). It’s like walking down an asphalt road through a wild primaeval forest. We don’t have to watch our steps, but at the same time we’re surrounded by an almost tropical nature. We walk lively like Little Red Riding Hood with the busket, on our way on the crusade.

And when we expect a friendly grandma there, it turns out that her ears are big. The wolf appears. The music shows its different face. Darker, ghastly at times (tribal Anura). The drums become restless, but painfully on the beat with some little elements of dubstep (Leshy). With this particular track another one is connected – Amdusias. A bridge between them is a fantastic acoustic guitar that leads us to the rhythms of worrying flamenco. The guitar resembles Polyphia’s Tim Henson’s showmanship in their song – nomen omen – Playing God.

It’s similar to such an extent that one can accidentally ascribe both games to one of the creators.

Similar suspicious atmosphere is created by the electronic vocalises which we can hear in most of the songs on the album. They’re not as direct as lilts in The Witcher 3, but that wasn’t the point anyway. They’re woven in almost dance beats (Saleos) or almost nordic panoramas (Ratoo).

Narayana Johnson is not an organist In Cult Of The Lamb. He’s rather a shamanic drummer to whose music even fire dances. And like fire – he can be playful. Only to become unpredictable and dramatic the next moment.

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Maciej Baska

In the games he happens to stand around at a random location only because there is a great music. For over a decade he's composed, written, recorded and mixed.