When “She Sells Sanctuary” recently popped up in a beer commercial, we were a little concerned that the Cult’s days as a going concern might be over. But “Choice of Weapon” allays those fears. The Cult reunites with two former collaborators — producers Bob Rock and Chris Goss — with satisfyingly brawny results. Ian Astbury’s otherworldly wail remains robust as he intones darkly about mean streets (the churning “The Wolf”), walks with death (the dramatic dirge “Wilderness Now”), and recognizes that the beauty and the beast exist in tandem (the ruminative “Life > Death”). His songwriting partner and foil, guitarist Billy Duffy, remains razor sharp, offering up a “Sanctuary”-esque riff for “The Wolf,” a squalling, sprawling solo on the driving “For the Animals,” and unspooling sheets of sounds on “Lucifer.” “Choice” can be a little downbeat and monochromatic in places as Astbury indulges in his mystical visions, but it’s easy to be swept up in his catharsis. (Out now)
ESSENTIAL “For the Animals”
The Cult plays the House of Blues on June 5.