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Cult Of Luna - Salvation CD (album) cover


Cult Of Luna

Experimental/Post Metal

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5 stars This is a-m-a-z-i-n-g. I was interested in this album when it show up in several magazines as "Album of the month" (and later in 3rd or 2nd on "Album of the year" ;) and I though "hmm this looks interesting". I searched more reviews and samples and I went down to local store to put my doubts away. Well, finally I listened to "Salvation" from the begining to the end. And it didn´t go very well. It looked like some 4 guys who couldn´t decide if they wanted to play psychedelic rock or death metal... But I´m totally wrong. And if you had (or if you´re having) a reaction like I did... DON´T get fooled! Listen to it a couple of times more! "Salvation" is full of passion and mistery. If you see the interviews to Cult of Luna, they actually say that they aren´t "progressive", but their music speaks louder and has a self image and weight. You cannot get fooled by the vocals, for example. They don´t destroy the intelligent guitars/bass/drum effects. They´re just a part of the agression and melancholy that really defines the Cult of Luna "style". This band is a colective, in the common sense of the word. Everyone has something to say. There are very few musicians that have this kind of work. I cannot wait for the next album..
Report this review (#81341)
Posted Saturday, June 17, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars This is where Cult of Luna really breaks out and starts making a name for themselves. Salvation adds dynamics and textures that were missing from their prior releases, creating a full, thick and wholly absorbing sound. The group has members who are in charge of just creating soundscapes and atmospheres. This is both unique and effective. For a band coming from the doom metal school, this is much more sophisticated than we may have expected. The loud-soft dynamics are more prevalent and useful on this album than they were on The Beyond. The individual pieces ebb and flow better than Isis did on their breakout release Oceanic, not to mention they also sound cleaner and tighter.

The band still needs to work on their diversity, though. There isn't a lot of sonic variety between songs. Given the quality of the songs, it's mostly forgivable, but you run the risk of getting bored or tired of the album even by the middle of the second track. But heed my words: the key to getting into this album is getting through the first two tracks and finishing the record. It was possibly a poor move to start the album off the way they did. The opener, "Echoes," at 12:30, is the album's longest song. It starts with a nice delay pedal-enhanced guitar riff which is great but overstays it's welcome until finally a bit past four minutes in the guitar rings out and we move into the next part. The tom beat guiding the build and the instrumentation itself sounds great when looked at in fragments, but again, the song as a whole takes a long time to accomplish little. Then we have "Vague Illusions." Starting off a bit repetitive and hard to get into, just past the halfway mark takes a turn for the better. The band breaks while just the keyboards carry some chords and then they move into another build. It gets promising but surprisingly the song never really climaxes. An attempt to avoid post-rock/metal cliches? Regardless, it isn't satisfying.

The album starts to cook on track three, "Leave Me Here." The shortest song thus far (at 7:15) turns out to be much more gratifying than the first two songs (combined, even). The loud-soft dynamics are more constant and each section is quite memorable. We also hear some clean vocals in the middle which sound excellent. Definitely one of the best tracks on the album. Possibly another highlight, the predominantly instrumental "Waiting for You" starts out with soft instrumentation that gradually changes and builds to a huge climax over its 10 minutes. Fantastic! "Adrift" and "White Cell," two of the shortest songs on the album are good, but don't standout as well coming after the previously mentioned two songs. The next track, "Crossing Over," is another highlight. This one never gets heavy. It's a very soothing atmospheric track. There are some subdued throatty vocals in a couple of spots, but particularly at the end when they are paired with some nice clean vocals it sounds well-placed. Then "Into the Beyond" (a reference to the last album?) closes the set down powerfully.

Cult of Luna is officially in the big leagues with Salvation. Despite it's flaws, it is a worthy listen and a sign of what's to come with their next album, which proves to be one of the finest releases of its kind.

Report this review (#150745)
Posted Wednesday, November 14, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars Unbeliveable. I first heard this album drunk. It was amazing. Then looked it up, sober. EVEN MORE AMAZING!

There are few bands that can hold a three note song interesting for 8 minutes. But that is exactly what Cult of Luna does. The opener (the Pink Floyd refrence) Echoes, starts out like it's bigbrother, with one note. And builds up to a outherworldy climax with such a evident and strong emotion that it honestly makes you crawl on the floor in ectasy.

A masterpiece in pain and suffering and it is WONDERFUL! Even metal-haters can't deny this bands skill in strong feeling suppling!

Report this review (#172782)
Posted Sunday, June 1, 2008 | Review Permalink
4 stars One of my favorite bands on the planet made a big splash with this album in the metal underground. Cult of Luna was an experimental post hardcore band that decided to pick up some post rock tendencies after their album The Beyond. They go on to make this gem salvation, filled with more than just the three guitar sludgy riffing, but with clean delayed harmonies, mellower song structures, and even sparse clean vocals. With this album, Cult of Luna defined a new kind of post metal, different from anything Isis, Pelican, or Neurosis had offered: More in depth concepts, darker themes, and emotion evoking music.

The only flaw that I can find in this album are the openers. Echoes and vague Illusions are both representative of their old post hardcore style with very few soft sections or guitar leads, but mostly straight up metal madness topped with Klas' extreme guttural voice. If you've read any of my reviews you probably know that what I consider a good album is all about the flow, if the album jut doesnt mingle right it's flawed, and that's how I feel about these two songs being right next to each other at the beginning of the album, they should at least be spaced out, or should have some toned down moments in order to keep a good flow going. Other than that, one of the greatest in the CoL catalogue comes up: Leave me hear, a song that was actually semi big to underground metal heads, starting with a very driving edge, and just gets heavier and heavier, while the vocals get angrier and angrier then all the sudden brake to a clean Post rocky guitar lead with some clean vocals. The song even drops more to just the guitar, making you feel floating and wait less, beautiful! This to me is one of the best ways to transfer emotion through music, and this song takes the cake for one of the finest examples.

After Leave me hear, this is where I consider the album to be halfway done, this is where the band gives me a sense of walking in an ally at night, and the darkness and coldness with it. An atmosphere belongs to this album, and this album only, kind of like the atmosphere of walking along a dark road on somewhere along the highway. Anyways, the next couple of songs just flow seamlessly, the highlights being Waiting for you, and Crossing over, with a beautiful clean vocal display by Johannes. The album ends on the epic Into the beyond, but like every Cult of Luna closer, I feel it really fails to give that last push of intensity appropriate to end such an awesome album deserves.

Well, this one is no Somewhere along the highway, but I guess that's an unfair comparison, given the SAtH is one of the greatest metal albums in existence. Anyways I feel Salvation is much darker, and colder in comparison to the more atmospheric and post rocky SAtH. Definitely more brutal, and tends to shy away from the more prettier side of their music (though a much better attempt than in Eternal Kingdom... whoops...), which is definitely a con. So Four stars for Salvation.

Report this review (#173871)
Posted Friday, June 13, 2008 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
2 stars CoL's third album shows little or no development from the previous albums. If anything, we could see an inclusion of more Isis-styled post-rock doodling and an occasional spacey texture left and right.

The main problems with CoL are a lack of true creativity, personality and generally weak songwriting skills. Mostly this music is repetitive without being entrancing, a deadly combination making everything dreary and monotonous. There are some dynamics but they are the fairly predictable quiet>rise>outburst dynamics of post-rock, don't expect the imaginative variation of progressive rock. What bugs me the most is that every song sounds like an exact copy of any other one, both where it concerns the slowly trudging rhythm, the sounds used, the not really memorable riffs, the uninspiring aggression, the hard-core shouts and the inadequate but luckily sparse singing.

Most of the tracks bring formulaic Neurosis-styled sludge with unremarkable riffs and exhausting screaming. But on a rare occasion, this band shows what they are capable of. Waiting For You is a great example of how good this type of music can be if they really put their heart in it. It follows the typical pattern, starting with minutes of repeated clean guitar picking, building a dreamy atmosphere that gets violently ruptured by a phenomenal outburst of paranoid noise and chilling heaviness. For once it works. That's what I want to hear, not the cliché riffing and overstated 'pain & suffering' posture of the next track Adrift.

Cult Of Luna have got some talent but are too concerned with conforming to the rules of the genre to be able to do something really creative and exciting. I wouldn't recommend this album unless you're a fan of the genre, in which case it will be a safe bet. 2.5 stars.

Report this review (#279776)
Posted Thursday, April 29, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars At first I wasn't so sure about this album, but it turned out to be what I think of as an "instant grower" - when I started listening to it for the first time I wasn't so impressed, but even in the middle of that first listen I started hearing more and more that I liked until by the end I was very enthusiastic about it. A capable and competent piece of post-metal with expertly judged compositions combining tormented, outraged death metal and mellower post-rock segments, Salvation is one of those rare 73 minute albums which feel much, much shorter than they actually are - simply put, absolutely nothing here outstays its welcome.
Report this review (#670672)
Posted Tuesday, March 20, 2012 | Review Permalink
4 stars 8/10

Tides Of Distortion, Waves Of Emotion.

The first two albums from Cult Of Luna were interesting and promising, but missing of sophistication, maturity, and overall replay value. Many Metal bands start with releases of this sort, even the great bands. Cult Of Luna as a matter of fact might just be one of these bands; in 2004, only a year after their sophomore album, "Salvation" hits the metal community like a thunderbolt.

Like many Sludge Metal bands, the Swedish decided to fill their music with shades of Post- Rock and mixing them with their basic Sludge roots, resulting in a music that has been labeled by some Post-Metal, with acts such as Isis and Neurosis being principal pioneers. Cult Of Luna's music now is distinct and unique, despite not being particularly innovating. The length of the songs has stretched, the recording is clean and generous to details, but not clean enough to ruin the body-crushing riffs that domain most of this album. The songwriting here is the massive improvement, as songs such as the opening track "Echoes" clearly proves, an eleven minute monster that for the first five minutes beautifully builds up to an eventual climax. It's a perfect summary of what the remaining hour of the album has to offer, which is a complex pattern of Post-Rockish crescendos and bursts of crunchy riffage, occasionally veiled by bold electronic sounds to further enrich the music.

Other noteworthy songs include the towering, eleven-minute, rhythm-heavy "Vague Illusions", The long build ups of "Waiting For You" and "Crossing Over", and the shorter, to- the-point catchy and heavy songs like "White Cell" and "Leave Me Here". Then there's "Into the Beyond", the final settlement, one of the best moments Cult Of Luna has ever accomplished, full of ups and downs and emotional swings.

"Salvation" doesn't deny its influences from bands like Isis, but its sound is fresh enough and its level of musicianship is high enough for it to be generally considered to be one of the most successful, complex, and elaborate Sludge Metal albums ever released. Also, the fact that Cult Of Luna still today have other great things to say makes them one of the best Sludge Metal acts.

Report this review (#955485)
Posted Tuesday, May 7, 2013 | Review Permalink

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