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Cult Of Luna - Vertikal Award winner

Cult Of Luna
by Spyros Stasis at 21 January 2013, 4:10 PM

It has been quite some time since CULT OF LUNA released their previous album, “Eternal Kingdom”, and the question in the back of my head was if “Vertikal” was worth the wait. Well yeah, it fucking was.

With “Vertikal”, CULT OF LUNA takes its music a little step forward. Although they remain pretty much on the same path, the sound of the album overall sounded a bit more experimental to me, with even more weird dissonant parts and fascinating sound effects. From the strange intro of the album (“The One”) you get the feeling that this is not going to be an easy listen and indeed it is quite challenging, mainly due to the multiple musical layers and perplexing song structures (I guess that is what happens when you have three guitarists in your band, right?).

The album consists of quite lengthy songs, with the opener “I: The Weapon” grabbing your attention immediately, reminding you what this band has been all about: the heavy guitars, the groovy drums, the huge bass, everything is back. With the breathtaking “Vicarious Redemption”, a nineteen minute long piece, you discover the ingenious musical structure that CULT OF LUNA possess, starting of slow with an intro (synths and some effects included) and slowly building a sonic monument, the only other band that I heard doing something similar in that degree was ISIS. Production was done once again by Magnus Lindberg (member of the band as well) and his work is astonishing, managing to bring forth all the elements of their sound (and with seven band members there are a lot of elements to it).

The album continues with “Synchronicity”, that, to me, had an almost GODFLESH like vibe to it (and also a really intriguing keys sound around two and a half minutes, sounds dissonant and fascinating) and then with “Mute Departure”, another great track which probably includes some of the heaviest moments of “Vertikal” (about three minutes in the song). The band also offers us a few short interlude and intros to their songs, “The One”, “The Sweep” and “Disharmonia” with very exciting bits of sound manipulation and experimentation, they act as a few nice breaks on the album (my favorite being “Disharmonia”, because it simply sounds almost disturbing). Next to last song of the album, “In Awe Of” is in the same vein with the rest of the songs (maybe with the exception of “Vicarious Redemption”, which is a whole different story), with heavy parts and great melodies (for example about four and a half minutes in the song). Closing track “Passing Through” is the most suitable ending for an album such as “Vertikal”, a much more relaxed track, without any heavy parts and with a lot of effects it attains a really emotional, almost cathartic sound.

Well CULT OF LUNA has done it; the more I listen to “Vertikal” the more I feel that it is a pinnacle for the band. They managed to make their sound even more interesting, I really want to see where they are going to go from here, and I am quite optimistic.

5 Star Rating

1. The One
2. I: The Weapon
3. Vicarious Redemption
4. The Sweep
5. Synchronicity
6. Mute Departure
7. Disharmonia
8. In Awe Of
9. Passing Through
Johannes Persson– Guitars, Vocals
Magnus Lindberg– Percussion, Engineering, Mixing, Mastering
Erik Olofsson– Guitars
Andreas Johansson– Bass
Thomas Hedlund– Drums, Percussion
Anders Teglund– Keyboards, Samples
Fredrik Kihlberg– Guitars, Vocals
Record Label: Indie Recordings


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