Cult of Luna: Vertikal (Indie Recordings)
Sweden’s finest create a blistering soundscape of deeply affecting brutality and grace.
From the opening fanfare it is clear that Cult of Luna are leading us into new ground once again. After the masterpiece that was Eternal Kingdom (2008), a worthy follow up was going to be a challenge, however, possessing the innovation and creativity that they do, Cult of Luna have managed to produce what may be their finest album to date.
2013 sees the band in their 15th year together, after forming in the Västerbotten area of Sweden. Their albums have always been received with the greatest of enthusiasm and anticipation, and with Vertikal, they ascend to new levels of greatness. Digressions into electronic territory, courtesy of Anders Teglund add new depth and substance, whilst the pounding rhythms of Thomas Hedlund (drums) and Andreas Johansson (bass) create hypnotic and enticing worlds into which there is no quick escape.
Album opener The One sparks not only interest, but rapt attention, this grip is not loosened for the remainder of the proceedings. One of the most staggering things about Cult of Luna is just how transcendental they are as an outfit, refusing to adhere to the specifications, or rules, of any one set genre, they exist as composers in the classical sense.
All this talk of grandiose experimentation and epic musical journeys may give the impression of meandering, jazz infused noodling. This couldn’t be further from the truth; nothing happens by accident on this album. A staggering behemoth of a record, intent on politely working its way into the city, then destroying it from within.
There is something indefinable about Cult of Luna, a tragic beauty within the damaged and crushing structure that sets them apart from their peers. This is something which manifests evidently when the band make live appearances. Cult of Luna will tour extensively in 2013 in promotion of this album. Make sure you’re a part of it.