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Cult Of Luna - Salvation CD (album) cover


Cult Of Luna


Experimental/Post Metal

3.86 | 77 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
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.

Moatilliatta | 4/5 |


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