Cult of Luna
Vertikal II


4.0
excellent

Review

by Robert Davis CONTRIBUTOR (143 Reviews)
October 15th, 2013 | 13 replies | 3,392 views


Release Date: 09/17/2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The perfect conclusion to Vertikal, the communal soul of Cult of Luna has proved to be still strong and fierce.

Whilst for some, Vertikal didn't quite reach those dizzying heights that were grasped by previous Cult of Luna albums, it certainly reassured many fans that the band still had it in them to craft something close to a masterpiece. From the opening ambiance of “The one” to the grandiose closing moments of “Passing through”, there was very little left to be desired. It didn't matter how many times you listened to the album in one sitting-Vertikal showed that Cult of Luna were back doing what they always have done best. So, further down the line, the band haven't quite taken a break yet, and it's left to latest EP Vertikal II, to build on the momentum created by its predecessor. The new EP features three new studio tracks, as well as a new version of “Vicarious redemption”, remixed unsurprisingly by none other than Justin Broadrick, who almost turns the song into a completely different beast.

In promoting the album to Metal Injection, frontman Johannes Persson said that “Vertikal II is the continuation of our journey into the harshness of the monotone city landscape”. He couldn't be more right. The first three songs on Vertikal II certainly come across as the soundtrack to a bleak, grey-skied landscape filled with the direst of life's experiences within the casual city. Opener “ORO” is charged by echoed, ambient sounds which are only ever overpowered by Persson's quiet, reserved voice as he harmonically sings slowly but surely, possibly causing the listener to fall into a instantly deep sleep. However, the two songs which follow “ORO” are definitely more immediate and serve as the pinnacles of Cult of Luna's latter musical work. “Light chaser”, which ends up being a song monstrously channelled into unknown, darker territories thanks to Persson harshly growling “Onward, Forward” until his voice almost breaks, is ambitious even if it is the shortest song on the EP. It's brief moments of soulful aggression and effective yet eerie synthesiser notes are no laughing matter. “Shun the mask”, which undoubtedly proves to be Vertikal II's centrepiece, brings about a much more spiritual quality to Cult of Luna's visceral, dark-tinged soundscapes, every instrument taking its time in making sure the atmosphere is as bleak albeit epic as humanly possible. Persson's voice as he slowly but surely urges us all to “Shun the veil, Shun the mask” makes sure that every listener feels the full wrath of his own chords, and the song naturally amounts to a grandiose, ambitious finish.

There's nothing too interesting about Vertikal II's final track, a remixed version of “Vicarious redemption”, and even Persson himself admitted that it was a surprising finishing touch to the EP. Yet it doesn't quite scupper the idea that Cult of Luna are obviously back in a world of their own, and they are once again crafting music with strong confidence and fierce passion. Listening to both Vertikal and its neighbouring EP will surely be the very action that turns more heads than ever before, and it's only a matter of time before the band erupt into the grandiose presence they once were a few years ago.



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user ratings (68)
Chart.
3.7
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
linguist2011
Contributing Reviewer
October 15th 2013



1840 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Full stream:

http://www.metalinjection.net/av/cult-luna-vertikal-ii-album-stream

The more I listen to Cult of Luna, the happier I feel.

Digging: Black Anvil - Hail Death

mindleviticus
October 15th 2013



8157 Comments


linguist2011 4 contrib

HenchmanOfSanta
October 15th 2013



1852 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

The only song on this that kept my attention the whole time was the remix.

dosia
October 15th 2013



53 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Vertikal is easily amongst their best material, counting this EP or not. This alone is close to a 4.

GnarlyShillelagh
Staff Reviewer
October 15th 2013



5977 Comments


wtf is this real these niggas tryna be justin timberlake or some shit

ReAnimator
October 15th 2013



296 Comments


Some of these descriptions are way too verbose.

"Opener “ORO” is charged by echoed, ambient sounds which are only ever overpowered by Persson's quiet, reserved voice as he harmonically sings slowly but surely, possibly causing the listener to fall into a instantly deep sleep."

I think it reads much better if you stick to one adjective per description, and either make clear whether the effect of his voice is soporific or merely calming; something like:

"Opener 'ORO' is charged by ambient echoes which are slowly overpowered by Persson's harmonies, which may have the adverse effect of lulling listeners to sleep."

Go through and shorten your descriptions; phrases like "monstrously channeled" and "dark-tinged landscapes" are just clunky and unnecessary when "channeled" and "dark landscapes" are so much more effective. But you still get a pos from me, because it's otherwise a solid review.

Digging: Monuments - The Amanuensis

rockandmetaljunkie
October 15th 2013



3302 Comments


linguist2011 4 contrib [2]

Shuyin
October 15th 2013



11106 Comments


whenever i see ORO it reminds me of rurouni kenshin

Digging: Blut Aus Nord - Memoria Vetusta II: Dialogue with the Stars

NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
October 15th 2013



6931 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

If you had asked me Rob, you could have been listening to this months ago.

linguist2011
Contributing Reviewer
October 15th 2013



1840 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

"Some of these descriptions are way too verbose."

When reading those descriptions that you referred to back, I honestly don't think they're that bad. Nonetheless, I will work on this for future reviews.

"If you had asked me Rob, you could have been listening to this months ago."

I did actually listen to the EP when it first leaked, but I only thought of reviewing it recently.


R6Rider
October 15th 2013



4467 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Picked this up after watching their set and chatting with Johannes for a little bit.

I dig it.

Digging: Rort - Warpath

NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
October 15th 2013



6931 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

I'm not talking leak my man : ]

Sniff
October 16th 2013



1092 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Kinda feel this is a never ending snooze-fest



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