..and time is passing me by..
Swedish post-metal outfit Cult of Luna’s sixth effort, Vertikal, showcases the band at the top of their game. Taking clear influence from the likes of post-metal giants such as Isis and Neurosis, Cult of Luna seek to push the boundaries even further with this LP. Cult of Luna take some pretty big risks with this record, and in most cases it pays off greatly.
A hazy, bombastic introduction track acts as the perfect awakening to what the rest of this album has in store. Immediately following the introduction, the crushing wall of sound and rage filled vocals explode towards the listener. As the track goes on, it is clear that Cult of Luna has meticulously crafted every detail on that can be heard. From there hypnotizing drum rhythms and eerie, discordant synthesizer lines drearily wash over the entire track. By the time “I: The Weapon” has ended, many viewers won’t even realize they have just listened to a song nearing ten minutes in length.
The meat of Vertikal comes with the hefty “Vicarious Redemption”. Clocking in at over 19 minutes, this monstrous track runs the gamut from Godspeed-esque drones to debilitating vocal deliveries that drudge up faint similarities to Neurosis’ Through Silver in Blood. For good measure, the band has even thrown in an electronic breakdown that, while risky, has seemingly payed off, as the piece feels completely well rounded and doesn’t ever drag, which is admirable when accounting for its length.
Later on in the album, Luna really steps up their experimenting with songs like “Synchronicity” and “Mute Departure”. The slathering ambiance that gives fair nod to Mogwai’s earlier albums on these tracks really helps to bring out the breeding effect that these songs convey so well.
The record’s final track is perhaps the ‘sleeper-hit’ of this album. Stripped of everything that gave the album the as of yet weakly challenged ‘sludginess’, “Passing Through” gives rise to a final daze of muddied emotions that Luna has masterfully weaved together onto this record.
Luna has managed to create a post-metal album that is bound to be remembered fondly this year. It carefully utilizes the epitomized methods that have made this genre so great, all while integrating peculiar rhythms and a splash of heavy digital production on some of the more adventurous pieces.
Standout tracks: “Vicarious Redemption”, “Synchronicity”, “Passing Through”