Cult of Luna


Cult of Luna (SWE)

Evidently, on the shores of the Gulf of Bothnia one wants to beat the roar of the sea with the thunder of an electric guitar. That seems to be the only likely explanation for the exceptional noise supply emerging from a Swedish town called Umeå. This small town of only 70,000 inhabitants has given the world the now deceased hardcore legend Refused, the mental metal pioneers Meshuggah, and, about ten years ago, also Cult of Luna. In the course of their four albums, Cult of Luna has become famous for their slow-burning, graphic metal that for want of better words has been described with all sorts of doom this and post that. Their latest release is 2006's acclaimed and awarded Somewhere Along the Highway, which is, apparently, going to be followed by a brand new album in the course of this year.

Cult of Luna has gathered their inspiration from various sources, all the way from prog rock, even if each of the members has a firm hardcore punk background. On tours with such speed addicts as The Dillinger Escape Plan and even The Berzerker, the band has certainly had their fair share of shouts of "Faster! Faster!" from the impatient metalheads in the audience, to which it has answered by deliberatly slowing down to an even more hypnotic degree. Instead of rushing around, Cult of Luna prefers the unhurried, tender embraces of thick guitar blankets. Here's a band whose performances are not only auditory, but also physical experiences.

With seven members and three guitars, the fuzz blanket is certainly thick enough, but in the midst of all that noise there are wells of sensitivity and subtlety to be found. Klaus Rydberg's singing voice is like that of one possessed, yet decidedly kept as just another instrument among others. Cult of Luna holds the audience's attention not only by hiding bittersweet earcandy in its sounds, but also by cleverly referring to current social issues and events and by inviting, kindly and without pushing or preaching, the listeners to contemplate a variety of personal and political questions. And what gentle and cruel depths can one find hidden behind such an innocent song title as Finland? Might that be a reason good enough to come and see Cult of Luna live?

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