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Cult of Luna - Eternal Kingdom CD (album) cover

ETERNAL KINGDOM

Cult of Luna

 

Experimental/Post Metal

3.70 | 33 ratings

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JJLehto
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Post Metal. To be fair I'm still not entirely sure what it is. As far as I know it is everything from slow, crushing metal that is fairly droning, to atmospheric and filled with ambiance and devoid of any real metal characteristics, (sans its dark tones). Throw in some unconventional song structure and staccato, dissonant riffs in odd time signature. Point is, genre's are really difficult and I'd rather consolidate than have a million! Clerical rant over, let's get into this album.

This is an album that may not be fit for everyone. If you are really into mood, than this is great. For those that are more into music, this may be a bit difficult. However, there is music here as opposed to bands that sacrifice music entirely for the sake of atmosphere, Sunn O))) being a prime example. The music on this album is heavy! This should not be a surprise considering the band has 8 members and 3 guitarists! Like an orchestra of metal, they belt out some crushing music. However, this album is more than pure heaviness. In fact much more. Owlwood, for example, alternates between sections of varying crush, to a great pinnacle, before ending on a very melodic note.

Eternal Kingdom picks up there and continues on in true post metal fashion. With slow, long heaviness. Though there are some unique moments and actually the very start of the song is pretty groovy.

Ghost Trail is a truly awesome song. Starts off with some mellow and really cool guitar work. Put over a simple, yet neat, drum beat and slowly pile the heaviness on top of it. If one does not know, that is the epitome of this album, crescendo. It plays into the atmosphere, while the music itself it is decent, this album tries to transcend actual notes in order and instead create a soundscape. The crescendo nature of this song is a great example. As instruments become layered it adds power. Unlike a thrash metal band, it does not hit you like a wall. No, instead it builds, really makes you feel it more. Ghost Trail shifts to a more layered, heavy chord section which continues as guitar solos come in, they themselves becoming layered. Soon you have a wall of music with guitars beautifully weaving around each other, a simple, heavy bass riff underneath and a pure rhythm drum beat.

The second half of the song is really cool, as it shifts to slower, quieter and melodic. Really nice section and really cool drumming! Which was nice as thus far its been simple beat keeping and power. The heavy hits you again like a wall, and builds to the end until it reaches a frantic climax.

That is the best song on the album, and really nails the style. The rest of the album is like it, but thankfully does not all sound identical. Each song is of the same style, but are different. Quite different. There are actually 3 interludes which are a nice change of pace. I'm so used to an "interlude" being random noise and filler in between Tool songs! They are all nice, but Ugin is particularly lovely.

Adding to the atmosphere are the lyrics. This is something I oft ignore or forget, (metal head...sorry) but here they are a critical part to the soundscape. The lyrics deal with a man who murdered his wife. The lyrics are blasted at us in throaty, sonic explosions. They are delivered quite slow and really add another dimension. Even after looking them up, I still have some trouble understanding them frankly, but that's OK. When a song is near its climax, with 7 instruments blasting at once in a wall of sound, those cries are belted out and completes the feel. And the style is fitting, it is how I'd imagine the inner thoughts of a madman would be, swirling around his head.

So where do I stand? A powerful album, however one that is best experienced when laying down in the dark, really letting yourself absorb the music. Almost like it is to be meditated upon. This makes for limited listening, and is total "in the mood" music. Also, anyone who is not a fan of heavy or screaming should stay far away. I'm going to do something new here and give it a half star rating, but then with a bump, (like if I had to make a purely gut decision).

THREE AND A HALF STARS (Bump: Four)

JJLehto | 4/5 |

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