Cult of Luna
Somewhere Along the Highway


5.0
classic

Review

by James Grant USER (14 Reviews)
September 9th, 2013 | 153 replies | 3,004 views


Release Date: 2006 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Cult of Luna's seminal masterpiece is a work of beauty and sheer agony.

Everyone has 'that' album; y'know, the one that made you cry like a little school girl? Yeah, that one. When talking about such a broad thing like 'music', one has to remember and consider the varying emotional responses from each of its listeners. For example, someone may find a piece of music that is considered 'harsh' and 'cruel' to be rather 'uplifting' and 'cathartic'. The point is, music is more than just a form of enjoyable audible entertainment, it's a thing of sheer beauty than can affect an individual's life at a certain point at any time. Why is all this information important? Well in the context of Cult of Luna, it is very important as this LP's power lies within its interpretable nature.

Within the genre known as 'post rock/metal', there are many bands which have made quite a name for themselves. Isis, Neurosis, Rosetta and The Ocean have all carved out their own respective niche to gain acclaim from their fanbase and critics alike. With this acclaim comes the obvious 'highlight' in each of these bands' discography, the one which has helped them place their signature sound on the map. When relating this idea to Cult of Luna's 'Somewhere Along the Highway', it could not be more fitting to describe this album as their so-called 'masterpiece'.

The things that you come to expect from this particular genre are all present on this release: emotion, dissonance, beauty, minimalism etc. However, everything on this LP is cranked up to 11 from the word go. Subtle and foreboding opener, 'Marching to the Heartbeats' would seem to lay out a cruel and bleak passage for the rest of the album to follow upon first listen, however this couldn't be any further from the truth in reality. Just when you think you have Cult of Luna's style pinned down, 'Finland' explodes into acres of sheer atmospheric beauty and feels like the complete binary opposite of what you have previously just heard. The schizophrenic personality of this record is almost exemplified with every passing track. This is where '...Highway' succeeds phenomenally; in forcing the listener to make a conscious emotional decision. One that I'm sure will be very different depending on the listener.

Twist and turns come in full force upon this LP, some individual songs work fantastically on their own e.g 'Dim'. Whereas other tracks such as 'And With her Came the Birds' work far better within the context of the album. To really soak in the experience of this album it is a must to hear as a whole, the replay value only becomes more valuable with each passing listen. Like many traits within the 'post rock/metal' genre, there are subtle differences every time you revisit a track or the LP as a whole, making every revisit all the more valuable. With the album clocking in at just over 60 minutes, it can be a lot to take in first time round. However, don't all emotionally challenging albums take a while to hit home fully in some instances? In this case, that statement would be correct.

What 'Somewhere Along the Highway' boils down to is its sheer diverse nature as a record. There are moments which evoke feelings of sadness and solace and other moments which are filled with catharsis and invigoration. Those emotions are left up to you the listener to decide whether they apply to you or not. With this, Cult of Luna have created a unique album which breaths life into the genre and makes for one hell of a ride every time it is visited. Therefore, this is why 'Somewhere Along the Highway' will always be 'that' album...at least for me.



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4.3
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Comments:Add a Comment 
BigPleb
September 9th 2013


36558 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

It's very hard to discuss this album going track by track, hence the lack of detail on individual songs.

Feedback would be greatly appreciated, not written in a while.

Digging: Arc Iris - Arc Iris

evilford
September 9th 2013


22540 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

sweet pos'd

Digging: Thormenthor - Abstract Divinity

BigPleb
September 9th 2013


36558 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Thanks ford, feels weird putting finger to keyboard again to write something.

Rowan5215
September 9th 2013


26212 Comments


"than can affect an individuals life"
individual's*
"exceedes phenomenonly"
phenomonally* and did you mean succeeds?
"their are subtle differences"
there*

Otherwise great review, pos'd.

Digging: Bon Iver - For Emma, Forever Ago

TheNexus100
September 9th 2013


2522 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

salvation>>>

Digging: Carrion Spring - A Short History of Decay

BigPleb
September 9th 2013


36558 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Thanks Rowan, cheers for pointing those blinders out.

Salvation rules for sure dude.

evilford
September 9th 2013


22540 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I prefer Salvation too but they're both outstanding albums

JS19
September 9th 2013


4254 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Damn nice review. One of the best post metal albums period

Digging: This Will Destroy You - Another Language

BigPleb
September 9th 2013


36558 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Agreed, I get completely different vibes from Salvation too.

somnolence
September 9th 2013


405 Comments



hence the lack of detail on individual songs (;

Good rev




JS19
September 9th 2013


4254 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Why do you always get ghost negs on good reviews leb? : (

BigPleb
September 9th 2013


36558 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Yeah it's more a contextual description, I respect the neg cos it is understandable.

Eh I dunno, I'm not the strongest writer so wold prefer pointers instead of line negativity,

somnolence
September 9th 2013


405 Comments


i didnt neg

BigPleb
September 9th 2013


36558 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Ah ok man

wacknizzle
September 9th 2013


13191 Comments


Nice review, pos'd. Sorry some fucker stupidly negged it. Gonna jam this now, been meaning to get around to it and Salvation for a while now

Digging: Dioramic - Supra

BigPleb
September 9th 2013


36558 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Thanks wack, it happens a lot on my revs haha.

Just finished jamming for the 2nd time tonight, so good.

wacknizzle
September 9th 2013


13191 Comments


Yeah, I'm looking forward to giving this a serious listen, only sampled it a bit a while back. Does it sludge at all? I like sludge

BigPleb
September 9th 2013


36558 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Yeah there's some sludge vibes in here, 'dissonance' too ;)

Shuyin
September 9th 2013


11602 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

this has everything and more

Digging: Cannibal Corpse - A Skeletal Domain

sixdegrees
September 9th 2013


17039 Comments


atmospheric sludge even

Digging: Foreground Eclipse - Stories That Last Through The Sleepless Nights



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