Cult of Luna
Eternal Kingdom


3.5
great

Review

by Karl V.H. USER (85 Reviews)
August 13th, 2008 | 28 replies


Release Date: 2008 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Cult of Luna strive to reach the eternal kingdom of post metal and fall a little short.

Cult of Luna are one of those forgotten bands that every sub-genre of metal contains. These types of bands are typically the ones that are neglected from being mentioned when any sub-genre is brought up. For example, nu-metal’s forgotten bands will always be Nothingface and Snot, melo-death bands like old Soilwork and Carnal Forge, metalcore bands such as Burst and The Ocean…………………I think you get the picture. Cult of Luna would be the forgotten band under the post metal category, rarely mentioned when it comes to the likes of Neurosis, Isis, and Pelican being heavily talked about. For Cult of Luna, I really doubt a majority of the metal community has paid much attention to them, considering they have consistently been putting out quality albums for the last 6 years, they yet have garnered about as much attention as a single blip on a radar screen. Sure, you can argue that people around the web have written stellar reviews about their previous album achievements, but what has been spread about this band adds up to zilch, while so many undeserving bands reap what Cult of Luna have already done a thousand times better. My predictions for Eternal Kingdom are that it will play out the same way their last two albums did; no mention of them on any top 10 lists or any lists in general for that matter.

So on that consistent quality album output note, Eternal Kingdom follows closely to this formula. Like all of their other preceding albums that took the best elements from the previous album before it and built on top of the old, Eternal Kingdom isn’t a huge departure from Somewhere Along the Highway and successfully manages to build upon the experimental foundations found on that album. Once again like their other albums, an underlying theme runs through Eternal Kingdom. Without going into too much detail (thats why buying the album with liner notes helps!) the album is based after a diary that was discovered by the band in an abandoned mental institute where this album was recorded. The diary contained the tale of a former inmate who tried to find reasoning in drowning his wife by creating a fictitious world full of people who perpetuated these crimes against his wife; a scapegoat so to speak. Running on these images, the music certainly plays into this theme, exploring many dark shades of haunting passages throughout their sludgy metal delivery.

As far as post metal goes, Cult of Luna has always tried to distance themselves from the hordes of post metal artists popping up all over the place. Placing emphasis on long, slow grinding builds of past releases, Eternal Kingdom finds the band continuing this trait and relying heavily on a more hypnotic song structure juxtaposed with strange melodies, electronic keys, and the odd guest instrumental piece such as xylophones and horn sections (check out the Neurosis like trumpets on the interlude song ‘The Lure’). Unfortunately, while the band continues to create their music from the foundation that was built before it, they bring along some old habits as well. Theses are mainly the pointless interludes that try to create connectivity between the songs. Instead of flowing continuously from one track to another, some of the interludes act as filler, indicating the band has hit some creative barriers. This was a minor problem on Somewhere Along the Highway and has continued on this disc as well, containing three in total. But the meat and potatoes of this album belong with the first three songs on the album, with their slow tectonic riffs building into colossal explosions of energy. This is especially apparent on the highlight song ‘Ghost Trail’, with its stomping outro comprised of a simplified drop tuned chord being struck in a hypnotic fashion, building steam and speeding forth into a riveting ending. Most of the other songs on this album contain this epic sludgy tone that is captured in their monolithic riffs coupled with slow melodic passages, adding more dynamics into their songs that are already so finely layered. On the other hand with the songs contained on here is the fact that the band comes out with all guns blazing on the opening three tracks while the last half of the album just kind of fizzles out with little momentum. This can be a little off-putting seeing that Cult of Luna could apply their formula, that is so well executed in their songs, to the entire album. Maybe that’s just a thought for next time.

While this may be a great album compared to a lot of the post metal that’s come out this year, this is just another Cult of Luna album with a little less flair then what we heard on Salvation and Somewhere Along the Highway. A few experimentations are taken, but none of them are as memorable as the leaps and bounds achieved on Somewhere Along the Highway (well maybe the outro to ‘Ghost Trail’ can compete). However, Cult of Luna are still on top of their game and will go on to create bigger and better albums in the future. Every band in their career hits a bit of a rut and fortunately for fans, Cult of Luna’ rough spots are better than most bands peak points in their career. As enjoyable as Eternal Kingdom is, this album will probably not help Cult of Luna’ case in winning them the praise that they deserve.



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user ratings (456)
Chart.
4
excellent
other reviews of this album
JAV (4)
Cult of Luna take some small steps forward while delving into the thoughts of a madman....


Comments:Add a Comment 
Wizard
August 13th 2008


19523 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I've been waiting for this album for a while now. Good stuff but I would recommend Salvation any day over this.

Constructive criticism is always welcome. Hope you enjoy the review.

Digging: Godflesh - A World Lit Only By Fire

Essence
August 13th 2008


3586 Comments


Review sux. Not enough phail.

BallsToTheWall
August 13th 2008


44644 Comments


Great review, I agree with your first paragraph. Cult Of Luna, Nothingface, and Carnal Forge are indeed underrated. No complaints but the first time I heard this it gave me a warm buttery feeling, than it wen't stale like it had been left out too long. Sorry, but i'm hoppoing onboard.

Digging: Mare Cognitum - Phobos Monolith

Wizard
August 13th 2008


19523 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Thanks Balls and Jack. These guys will always be up there with me. This Message Edited On 08.13.08

Powerban
August 13th 2008


2380 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Good review. I agree with it all except I have found new love for the closing track Following Betulas and gave this a 4.

There is errors in the album information though, Namely the name of the album, The length of 'Following Betulas', Track 7 is 'Osterbotten' and 9 is 'Ugín' (which I think is just the formatting problem).

I'd correct this if I knew how. Thanks again for the review, I was waiting for someone to review this otherwise I was going to be tempted into it.

Edit: Yeah, formatting problem with Ugin.This Message Edited On 08.13.08

rasputin
August 13th 2008


14550 Comments


Great review wizard.

Wizard
August 13th 2008


19523 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Thank you for the comments.

There is errors in the album information though, Namely the name of the album, The length of 'Following Betulas', Track 7 is 'Osterbotten' and 9 is 'Ug�*n' (which I think is just the formatting problem).

I was too lazy to fix the errors after I wrote this. I seem to come across these errors frequently all over this site.


Powerban
August 14th 2008


2380 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

The mid-way build-up in Owlwood, The explosion-to-simple-riffs in Eternal Kingdom and the intense ending that comes from nowhere in Ghost Trail make this worth a listen to.

I must admit the drummer has really stepped it up with his drum fills and his experimental skills in general, Just listen through Following Betulas for an example.

JAV
August 14th 2008


1944 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Damn you! I was still proofreading my own review, hah.
Your conclusion is close to mine but I thought the instrumentals along with Curse were the weakest songs. Still rather enjoyed Mire Deep and The Great Migration.

Does anyone know why the title still shows Eternal King?This Message Edited On 08.14.08

billy33
August 14th 2008


216 Comments


kewl, ghost trail is awesome

Essence
August 14th 2008


3586 Comments


[quote=BallsToTheWall]No complaints but the first time I heard this it gave me a warm buttery feeling, than it wen't stale like it had been left out too long. Sorry, but i'm hoppoing onboard. [/quote]
I CHALLENGE YOU TO A BUTTERY DUEL OF DEATHBUTTER.

Wizard
August 14th 2008


19523 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Please take the butter comments out of this review.

Damn you! I was still proofreading my own review, hah.

Post it!

I must admit the drummer has really stepped it up with his drum fills and his experimental skills in general, Just listen through Following Betulas for an example.

I honestly thought he did a better job on Somewhere Along the Highway.



This Message Edited On 08.14.08

willfellmarsy
August 14th 2008


3849 Comments


another strong post-metal review...i'll probably check out Salvation firstThis Message Edited On 08.14.08

JAV
August 14th 2008


1944 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I honestly thought he did a better job on Somewhere Along the Highway.

I felt the drumming stood out a lot more on this one, a lot more deviations etc..

Bleak123
August 14th 2008


1902 Comments


Pretty good album but not their best

Wizard
August 14th 2008


19523 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

another strong post-metal review...i'll probably check out Salvation first

Very good choice!

I felt the drumming stood out a lot more on this one, a lot more deviations etc..

Fair enough, I would check out Salvation for their tightest album overall.


BallsToTheWall
August 14th 2008


44644 Comments


Since you seem to be a big post metal fan I suggest you check out the new Withered record.With out a doubt one of my top 10 albums of the year. Elements of sludge, grind, Swedish melo death, black, punk, etc is incredible. Heavy as shit and the riffs are terrific.

willfellmarsy
August 14th 2008


3849 Comments


^sounds like the greatest album ever...obviously salvation has been bumped btis next on my list...

SHOOTME
August 14th 2008


2393 Comments


Good review wizardo. You deserve a pos.

Wizard
August 14th 2008


19523 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Thank you SHOOTME. I told you I would make up for that last review I did. Ewwwwwwwwww!

Since you seem to be a big post metal fan I suggest you check out the new Withered record.With out a doubt one of my top 10 albums of the year. Elements of sludge, grind, Swedish melo death, black, punk, etc is incredible. Heavy as **** and the riffs are terrific.

I just shit my pants. Your rec's make me do that! Very good band. And yeah, post metal is the greatest thing to happen to metal ever! This Message Edited On 08.14.08



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