Vertikal

Cult Of Luna

Density Records, 2013

http://cultofluna.com

REVIEW BY: Tom Haugen

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 03/13/2013

Scotland's Cult Of Luna are one of the most interesting metal bands that exists today. While their early albums were abrasive and doom metal-influenced, while occasionally taking nods at their hardcore punk roots (Cult Of Luna formed out of the ashes of the punk band Eclipse), as time went out on they evolved into an outfit more concerned with light and dark flashes as well as chilling orchestration. Often called post-metal, the band have been leaders of this idea, shunning conventional songwriting structures and focusing on lengthy compositions that push and pull with experimental and ambient texturing while occasionally bursting into fury. my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

At over an hour in length, this album offers a lot of diversity to keep the listener involved. The prog-like atmosphere on a song like “The One” lays the mood out well, almost sounding like the opening credits to a futuristic thriller, and immediately sets the album to a particular tone. “I: The Weapon” follows and will literally knock you two steps back with it ferociousness. As the song progresses it builds into mesmerizing riffs and gloomy keys, with forceful shouting that illustrates their hardcore roots. “Synchronicity” is another intense track, thick and sludgy with some synth amid the pulsating rhythms. “The Sweep” puts electronics to center stage, complementing the slow, heavy aspect well, while “In Awe Of” is probably the most brutal track here, a tense and torturous ten minutes that captivates. Amazingly, there's a 19-minute song included, “Vicarious Redemption.” Nearly an album in itself, this opus moves from a slow pace into frenetic bouts of rage, utilizing intricate guitars and repetitive droning.

A very progressive blend of metal, post-rock, industrial ideas and prog-filled ebbs, Vertikal reminds me of a supergroup of Neurosis, Sparta and Radiohead members. Sometimes unimaginably harsh, other times spacey and meandering, it’s unique; not too many bands can utilize skull-crushing metal and soothing cinematic lulls as effectively and compellingly as this Cult.

Rating: A

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