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Cult Of Luna

Experimental/Post Metal

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Cult Of Luna Somewhere Along the Highway album cover
4.18 | 175 ratings | 8 reviews | 37% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2006

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Marching to the Heartbeats (3:17)
2. Finland (10:50)
3. Back to Chapel Town (7:13)
4. And with Her Came the Birds (6:03)
5. Thirtyfour (10:03)
6. Dim (11:50)
7. Dark City, Dead Man (15:47)

Total Time 65:03

Line-up / Musicians

- Klas Rydberg / vocals
- Johannes Persson / guitar, vocals
- Erik Olofsson / guitar
- Fredrik Kihlberg / guitar, vocals
- Anders Teglund / keyboards, electronics
- Andreas Johansson / bass
- Thomas Hedlund / drums & percussion
- Magnus Lindberg / drums, mixing

- Martin Gustafson / backing vocals (1)
- David Sundqvist / intro loop (6), programmed drums (7)

Releases information

Artwork: Erik Olofsson

CD Earache ‎- MOSH 344 CD (2006, US)

Thanks to TheProgtologist for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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CULT OF LUNA Somewhere Along the Highway ratings distribution

(175 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(37%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(35%)
Good, but non-essential (18%)
Collectors/fans only (7%)
Poor. Only for completionists (3%)

CULT OF LUNA Somewhere Along the Highway reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by GoldenSpiral
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars If you're looking for technical prog metal, Cult of Luna is not your band. If you're looking for the next Dream Theater, Cult of Luna is not your band. If you're looking for some of the most sprawling, emotional, dynamic, harmonic, ugly and beautiful metal compositions available, then you should check out Cult of Luna's "Somewhere Along the Highway".

Why this long introduction? Because I really need to stress that CoL is not for the average prog, or even prog metal, fan. The vocals, while sparse and relatively unimportant to the composition as a whole, are almost all screamed. However they are kept mostly to the back of the mix to let the instrumental parts shine all the more. This band is for fans of Isis, Kayo Dot, and Maudlin of the Well, and they are the perfect example of a "post-metal" band. They compose music because it is powerful, not because it is technical or because it is "pretty". Like many good prog bands, CoL recognize that beautiful music can be ugly at times.

At the risk of sounding cliche, this album flows like a giant river. The music moves seamlessly through moods and textures, loud and soft, heavy and ambient. The songs flow from the lightest of ambient guitar textures to the muddiest of sludge metal. The band balances these worlds much more effectively on this album that on their past two releases. Their composition is more focused... OK focused is the wrong word... more effective in their meandering as they build their wall of sound to a crushing climax. The influence of the many band members shines through more on this album as well, as some odd and seemingly random instrumentation is added, including banjos. The song 'Dark City, Dead Man' proves a fitting climax to a solid album.

Cult of Luna is a band that, while easily compared to some contemporaries like Isis or Pelican, is unabashedly experimental and different, always seeking to separate themselves from the pack. I give this album a hesitant four stars. I love it and it is by far this band's best release to date. However, while different and original, it is overall not as enjoyable as the best from Isis or Pelican. It is also not for everyone. All the same, this album is a great choice for anyone interested in heavy post-rock or experimental prog metal.

Review by Dim
5 stars I feel this Swedish post metal band is highly unappreciated on the archives. I know there is a lot of Cult fans here, but sadly, few of them choose to review, letting great bands like this one slip away to the bottom of the barrel. Anyways somewhere along the highway is, so far, my favorite cult album out of the two I have (*edit three*), the other being salvation. The magic behind this band is, when you look past the robotic guitars, and Isis-like drumming, there is an entire different band, consisting of keyboards, synths, and percussion that are holding up the cornerstone of this music. There are only a few instances where the key's are notable, and frontal enough to be considered lead, but when they show up to this degree, it seriously boosts the quality of the music, and this should be a trend the band should definitely get into.

The first song on the album blows all opinions away of cult of Luna having no emotion. Marching to the heartbeats is so heartfelt, with the vocals barely holding the note while a beautiful lead line hovers over it, and after it. This song is nearly tear jerking, and my favorite on the album (*edit, now DIM*), clocking in barely longer than three minutes, this is THE song to define the softer side of post metal. The rest of the album follows the usual COL style, throbbing drums and angular chord progressions take the reigns while the growls thunder away, creating a massive wall of sound. At first glance you have to ask yourself, how can this be progressive, but then the band go's into an Opeth like drop out where a sweet undistorted lead lines pecks through atmospheric processing. This will build up into a thunderous climax where Cult of Luna accomplishes what the greats of all post metal seem to love: build into a swirling torrent of sound, where the guitars are down stroking away, while the everything else is spiraling around them, spawning a hurricane of power and progression. Now, this isn't the trend of the entire album, there are some songs dominated by tremolo guitar, and atmospheric keyboards, with little drumming or riffing. And with her came the birds, is completely non distorted, clean vocals, and even has a banjo carrying olde time creepy arpeggios, to keep a melancholic COL mood.

This section of my review is an edit about 4 months later than my original. WOW, I literally said in my old review that this album is no masterpiece, you have no idea how stupid I feel about that. This is an album that I have "binges" with, where I pump it up, and then stays in constant rotation for about a week, everything about it is so beautiful, it's one of those albums that just clicks with you, and you literally feel all the emotion carried out, whether it's the last minutes of Finland, or the gorgeous mid section of Dim (which is now my undisputable favorite CoL song) everything is near perfect. This album is my second favorite metal album (if not album period) made behind Maudlin of the wells Bath.

I recommend anybody into soulful and passionate music, and ready for a challenge Somewhere along the highway. To me it just may be perfect.

5 stars

Review by Moatilliatta
5 stars My fellow reviewer Ian has requested that I review this album, so I thought I would oblige him and get it done sooner than I was planning. You're Welcome!

When you ask someone about post-metal, given that they are familiar with the genre, it's almost certain that they will use Isis, Neurosis or Pelican as its examplary artists. This is quite understandable; Neurosis basically invented the genre, while Isis and Pelican have no doubt released a few of its greatest albums as well as display exactly what this genre is all about while also moving it forward. But at this point, one has to wonder why Cult of Luna aren't one of the bands being mentioned. Scratch that, more than one has to wonder. Stop wondering and start name-dropping these guys, people!

With Somewhere Along the Highway Cult of Luna has created an indisputable masterpiece. And it makes for a great model of the post-metal genre too. The band's dynamics have been exponentially improved on the large scale, where not every song runs through the same old routine. The opener, "Marching to the Heartbeats," already signals the listeners to expect a more refined Cult of Luna. Clean, ever so frail vocals, ambient guitars and huge emotion that was often missing from their previous work make up this intro song. This beautiful track is followed by two songs in the group's traditional form, "Finland" and "Back to Chapel Town." The throbs of rhythm met with thick, muddy chords and throatty vocals are there, as are the cleaner sections, always melancholy, and the huge climaxes, but these tracks seem to be way more impactful than those on the already massive and powerful Salvation. The heavy parts aren't just heavy parts anymore; they serve a greater purpose in the flow of the song and album. The band is putting more thought into the way they form their sections. The heavy parts, while still hitting you like a bus, have more of an atmosphere about them (and that's saying something), and even sometimes have traces of lead lines to remember the part by. They are definitely harnessing the power they hold in having members who only play keys, samples and percussion strictly for added texture. These songs just carry you away in their mighty current. You're powerless when you're absorbed in this album.

After those two comes yet another surprise from the band: "And With Her Came the Birds." Six minutes of that same frail, sung vocal and ambient guitar work, but this time they've included a flippin' banjo! What a tasteful decision that was! It's crazy how mature they sound on this album. Even in comparison to Salvation, which was already leaps and bounds ahead of the band's early output, Somewhere Along the Highway has an artistic sophistication all its own. The emotions, the dynamics, the flow, etc. are almost unmatched.

After another powerhouse in "Thirtyfour," the band treats us with the stunning "Dim," arguably the band's finest piece. It sucks all of the juice out of the fruit of riffs they've grown (I am craving some pineapple at this time), and just builds on itself with the most memorable line in any Cult of Luna song. Stunning! And while that would have been enough to end the album on and leave me totally satisfied, the band manages to toss on another 16 minutes of remarkable music with "Dark City, Dead Men." By now I've been swept away to sea and I've now noticed that this water-based metaphor is no way in line with the themes of the record.

Somewhere Along the Highway is a monster of an album. It is ugly and beautiful at the same time. It should be a prominent title in the post-metal world, and intelligent music in general. Get this album, listen to it a few times, and let Cult of Luna carry you away on irrelevant metaphors (I've kept them minimal for you in this review, but I'd be happy to add a few more if you'd like).

Review by Conor Fynes
5 stars 'Somewhere Along The Highway...' - Cult Of Luna (9/10)

Before purchasing 'Somewhere Along The Highway,' I had no idea who Cult Of Luna were, besides the fact that they were a post-metal band and that this particular album came in high regard. To that effect, when I saw it lying in a used record store, I didn't think twice before picking it up. To my delight, what I was blessed with was one of the most atmospheric and emotionally charged albums I have ever heard.

While most people think of Isis or Kayo Dot when it comes to post-metal, Cult Of Luna really have some solid chops, and give a fine definition of the genre with this album. A concept piece revolving around male loneliness and sole travel, these feelings are transmitted perfectly, as were the album a vessel for emotion.

While a lot of the songs are pretty extended in their length, there's a great deal of repetition used and edgy build-ups traditional of post-music. While the guitars are heavily distorted and extreme screams are used a lot here, there is a feeling that the music itself is not heavy, but instead a very distorted form of mellow. The guitar sludge is used in no short supply, but all the way throughout, it feels like everything is under control. It is this sense of control that makes it all the more dramatic when things to get out of control during the most intense segments.

While it's hard to hear the lyrics through the growls and yelling, what little I can decipher fits the music perfectly and really compliments the overlying theme of the album. Things really take an even mellower turn with softer sections such as 'And With Her Came The Birds.' During this particular song, while it's not my favourite musically, it best encapsulates the feeling of driving along a rain swept highway and night better than any other song I've listened to, I believe.

Speaking of musical highlights, they include the opening track 'Marching To The Heartbeats,' the first fleshed out composition (and my favourite of the album) 'Finland,'- a very powerful track that doesn't forget to have it's tender and sweet moments and 'Dim,' another mostly instrumental track in the typical post-metal vein. Overall, this album fits together perfectly, and each track compliments each other. Dare I call this one of my favourite metal albums of all time, but that wouldn't be very far from the truth at all. A really inspirational work in the realm of metal, and the perfect introduction to this Scandanavian band.

Review by Bonnek
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Finally! They got it nailed!

This album is highly regarded amongst post-rock/post-metal lovers and has generally received raving press reviews. And for the first time in COL's career I will join the enthused clapping. While COL is still highly indebted to Isis and Neurosis, SATH is certainly not dwarfed by the music of their heroes, but can stand proudly next to it.

My change in appreciation doesn't come from a change in COL's approach, but it's simply due to the flash of inspiration that has caught them here. Every second sounds tight, tense and focused. The riffs are spiralling round your head like charmed snakes and the quiet parts overwhelm you with atmosphere. The pieces aren't melodic in any traditional sense but there's more attention to harmony then on earlier albums. The quiet song And With Her Came The Birds is a good example.

Even the vocalist is in fine shape. His one-trick hard-core vocals rarely used to charm me, but as it goes with that type of vocals, if they are driven forward by an inspired and crushingly powerful wall of sound, they do the work. There are some subdued soft vocals as well. Not outstanding but effective where applied.

The album is varied enough and not too long, though with 65 minutes I tend to either skip Thirtyfour or to stop after the album highlight Dim. An excellent album and sure amongst the best in its scene.

Review by Warthur
4 stars Cult of Luna keep their post-metal sound fresh on Somewhere Along the Highway by, in essence, not using it so much - on the whole, the album is split between passages of post- metal mayhem and gentler sections of music more reminiscent of post-rock. The risk of such an approach is, of course, that the end product will come across as an attempt at straddling the fence between the two sibling genres without committing to one or the other, but in this case I think it works well - Cult of Luna essentially draw on the sonic toolkit of both genres in order to diversify their sound and use the right approach at the right moment in their compositions. The end result is an album which would appeal to fans of either genre, and sounds far more diverse than most works in this line.
Review by EatThatPhonebook
4 stars 8/10

Desolation In Its Roundest Body.

"Somewhere Along The Highway" is recognized as the magnum opus of Swedish Sludge Metal band Cult Of Luna. Although an album like "Salvation", which was the band's previous effort, would be a good competitor to the honorable title, this fourth album showed a quality that "Salvation" didn't have in great abundance: a distinct, extremely original sound that can only be of COL. Turns out in the end that "Somewhere Along The Highway" is not only the best Cult Of Luna LP so far, it is also THE Cult Of Luna album by definition.

This is one of those albums in which every song stands out for being different from the rest of the tracks, in some form or the other, and one of those albums that has an extremely peculiar structure. There are as usual strong, heavy moments alternated with softer ones, but there is a greater sense of dynamism and interplay than in what was heard in "Salvation", making it an even more elaborate listen. In its more atmospheric moments, the music brings to life feelings of loneliness and despair, without ever being depressing, almost as if it were an album that has accepted its solitude long ago, and is simply manifesting it to an audience.

From the syncopated claps that begin "Finland", the second track of the album, the listener already familiar with the band's previous work notices the change in direction COL has faced, and appreciates how high the level of finesse the band has reached in both production and song-writing. This song might just be the best thing Cult Of Luna has ever done, and this is just starting the whole experience. "Back From Chapel Town" is another excellent track, with a handful of smooth transitional moments and an explosive middle piece. "And With Her Came The Birds" is the song that separates the two halves of the album, a tense, quiet track that however unveils a sense of beauty Cult Of Luna probably never have shown before.

Now the second half of the album is inferior to the amazing first half, but it has the advantage of having " Dark City, Dead Man", probably the most well-arranged and structured song the band has recorded so far, extending across a impressing arch of fifteen minutes.

The so-called Atmospheric Sludge Metal/Post-Metal movement owes a lot to this album. It's one that many can find themselves loving even though not necessarily being fans of either the band or the genre. Calling it a landmark in 21st century Metal music would probably be close enough to enclose its stellar value with one sentence.

Latest members reviews

5 stars Imagine yourself walking, aimlessly towards a dimmed light. Your bare feet aching from the worn-out tarmac of the road. Above you, a grey, clouded sky; around you, a thick forest. Practicly, you're quite certain that you are walking towards the bitter end of your pittiful life. Your pace chang ... (read more)

Report this review (#232208) | Posted by meetmehere | Tuesday, August 18, 2009 | Review Permanlink

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