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Cult Of Luna

Experimental/Post Metal

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Cult Of Luna Eternal Kingdom album cover
3.70 | 55 ratings | 7 reviews | 22% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2008

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Owlwood (7:39)
2. Eternal Kingdom (6:41)
3. Ghost Trail (11:50)
4. The Lure (interlude) (2:33)
5. Mire Deep (5:10)
6. The Great Migration (6:32)
7. Osterbotten (2:19)
8. Curse (6:30)
9. Ugin (2:44)
10. Following Betulas (8:56)

Total Time 60:54

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

- David Sandström / vocals (10)
- Erik Palmberg / horns (4,10)

Releases information

Artwork: Erik Olofsson with Pär Olofsson

CD Earache ‎- MOSH 359 CD (2008, UK)

Thanks to TheProgtologist for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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CULT OF LUNA Eternal Kingdom ratings distribution

(55 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(22%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(44%)
Good, but non-essential (27%)
Collectors/fans only (4%)
Poor. Only for completionists (4%)

CULT OF LUNA Eternal Kingdom reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Dim
3 stars What goes up must come down.

Cult of Luna is my favorite metal band that's still together, and arguably my third favorite band to exist. Their 2006 album somewhere along the Highway is a masterpiece of masterpieces, and is what I see the perfect bridge between post rock, and post metal. So as you may have guessed I was incredibly excited for this album, and had very high expectations. Wen I got it, I was ecstatic, I could barely contain my enthusiasm at home. After the first listen, I didn't know what to think, whether it lived up to my expectations or not... since then I have decided that it's not the next somewhere along the Highway, in fact, it's not even as good as Salvation, but it's still awesome.

In interviews, CoL have explained that they were ready to move on from delay pedals and atmospherics, and return to the pre-Salvation days. Well, in a sense they did, but the music is much smarter, and whether they know it or not, carries a great atmosphere. I wont venture to say this is their most progressive album yet, the music is a little more technical, and the concept is much more tangible than the last two albums by the band. If you want to listen to the album I recommend you read about the concept first. I'll give you a brief explanation: Cult of Luna rehearsed for this album in an old mental institution that was active no later than the thirties, while digging around, they found a diary of a patient who killed his wife. In this diary, the man writes a story about what really happened to his wife, and it ends up going into an incredible fantasy story, where he gets caught up in a war between the good animal man hybrids of where he lives, and the bad and their evil master Ugin. Seriously though, please find the whole story before listening, t helps the album run a lot smoother.

The music, like I said, not nearly as post rocky, the first song owlwood starts on a very dissonant chord, and quickly jumps into a typical CoL down stroke/crazy drumming tour de force, with Klas screaming his lungs out. One of the best benefits of this albums is that the vocals are a million times better than their last, Klas and Johannes have learned to utilize their post hardcore screams to fit the music better than ever, often both screaming together, just showing that they don't need delayed guitars to show emotion. Instead of the big burly voice of Salvation, the screaming has turned more into typical hardcore/metalcore screams, which I absolutely love. Anyways the song does have some post rocky guitar work in the climax, but quickly dies down into what I think is CoL's best clean guitar performance (behind Dim), without having to drop all the other instruments. The album goes to the title track, Eternal Kingdom, but do sent impress to much, except that the strumming is a little different, and there isn't a lot of use of the mechanical power chords they use. Then the album goes into one of the best Cult songs to date, Ghost trail. Starting with some odd, dark riffing, and some under mixed vocals, the song quickly picks up to the recycling of two or three chords that fans of the band have come to know as the single most powerful technique the band, and most other post metal bands use, cause they know the beautiful delayed guitars come, and that the layering will get thicker, the drumming harder, and the vocals at their most emotive. This song lives up to this, and better, the band even manages to throw in a very technical riff that helps the song climax to points no other band has dared to go, and when you think they can go any further, all three guitars drop to the two or three chords being played, and Klas goes on to demonstrate one of his most powerful vocal performances yet.

The album goes on to a different array of songs, some of them minute long interludes, the others between five and eight minute long power launches, but like the title song, few of these songs succeed in pulling me in, and give me the feeling that my organs are collapsing on me, but I'm too powerless to do anything about it, except one of the last ones, Curse, a Powerhouse of a song, with one of the darkest and heaviest riffs this side of Salvation.

If you've heard Somewhere along the highway, the first two things you'll notice are theses: 1- The clean vocals are COMPLETELY gone. 2- There is almost no use of keyboards outside of backing atmospheres. Quite frankly, for me, these are what I was looking forward to the most. After that you'll start missing the delayed guitars, and the soft sections, and you may even wish they'd control the drumming a little more. Bottom line is, they wanted to go off the grind with this one, and in doing that, they dropped a lot of stuff that I really loved, while definitely improving on showcasing their musicianship, and lyrics, this is not the same Cult of Luna as the one that made SAtH. A good album, but not a great one, three stars.

Review by Moatilliatta
4 stars Cult of Luna has never been a stagnant band. Indeed, each of the group's first four albums has shown a significant evolution in the band's sound, starting with uber-heavy doom metal and ending with an ultra-dense post-rock/metal blend unlike any other. The band's 2006 album, Somewhere Along the Highway was the culmination of everything the band strived for. It was an aural IMAX movie of sorts; the sound was so thick and vivid, surrounding the listener and keeping that listener speechless in it's majesty. In the wake of such a masterpiece, the band was at a crossroads. Either they would continue down the same path they've been on, a path that countless bands have since traveled on and are continuing to travel on, or make a turn and forge a new path for themselves. The band made the smart decision and went with the second option.

2008's Eternal Kingdom marks a significant shift for this Swedish unit. In an effort to progress, the band practically hollowed out their sound and started over. They found themselves a bizarre concept (which, for brevity's sake, won't be explained in this review) to form their music around and they took off from there. Cult of Luna's stylistic character is still very much intact, but the equally important tone and timbre elements have been all but reinvented. The band did away with anything that resembles cleanliness. The sound of everything is just plain gritty and grimey. Fear not! This is way more than what is starting to seem like sludge metal. Certainly this is a dirty, dirty sounding record, but this album has an identity of its own.

From the opening its clear that this is still Cult of Luna. There are throbbing drum beats, gutteral vocals, crushing guitars, heaviness, dyamics and so on. Still, "Owlwood" from its very intro shows us that Cult of Luna will never be ordinary or predictable. The guitars are startlingly dissonant. This new found dissonance is maintained for much of the record. The band really opens up some space on this record too. It's noticeably less dense, but that space is part of what sets the atmosphere this time around. Make no mistake, this is still as heavy and atmospheric as it gets. The first track will confound and perplex. While it may prepare the listener for the rest of the album, it's unlikely that any understanding will come from the entire first run through of Eternal Kingdom. Sure, the lead riff in the middle of "Ghost Train" will catch on, and the powerful conclusion in "Following Betulas," complete with blasting trumpets, may drive its way through your skull, but none of it makes much sense. Really, it's going to take many listens for anyone to wrap their head around this thing. That's not to say that it won't intrigue. In fact, even if the first listen did not elicit any enjoyment or feeling, it will certainly intrigue. There's something strange and inviting about the darkness that looms in this kingdom. The listener must make the decision to find out what it is.

The reader is advised to read the concept to better understand the mood they are trying to create. Be prepared for a very unsettling feeling at first, but give it time. This is truly a complex and intelligently crafted album and it will reward the listener. The band wasn't kidding when they said this was their most progressive work to date. Bravo to Cult of Luna for challenging themselves and their fans. Even if Eternal Kingdom isn't perfect, and even if it doesn't mesmerize like Somewhere Along the Highway, it's a solid step in a new direction for this fantastic band. Who knows what will happen next?

Review by JJLehto
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).


Review by Warthur
4 stars Cult of Luna might have invented a cool story for their latest album (come on, you don't seriously believe that yarn about them just happening to stumble across the story in someone's diary do you?), but on the whole it seems to be business as usual for them on the musical front. A harder-edged and more clearly metal release than the preceding album, Eternal Kingdom does have its quieter moments - such as Ugin, which puts me in mind of Neil Young's avant-garde soundtrack to Dead Man - but on the whole the album presents a heavier, scarier incarnation of post-metal which might alienate fans of the band's more peaceful side but will probably win over most metal listeners.
Review by EatThatPhonebook
4 stars 7/10

A Rock Solid Shell.

After the success of 'Somewhere Along The Highway' Cult Of Luna come up with 'Eternal Kingdom' two years later, an album that was inevitably anticipated because of its predecessor, and unfortunately inferior in quality. More straightforward and much less atmospheric than their previous two albums, this is an LP focused mostly on songwriting and musicianship, which, although always right on spot, was never an especially highlighted characteristic in Cult Of Luna's music. Because these musicians have talent, the second quality works fabulously, leading to an interplay between group members that was not heard before by them, because of how they've now gained much more experience in working with each other. The song-writing, however, is relying less on emotion, more on logic. In other words, 'Eternal Kingdom' has a lot less heart than other Cult Of Luna albums, even though there's not really a bad song here.

Latest members reviews

3 stars I have a confession to make...Post metal isn't really my thing. Now don't get me wrong! Now and then, a band or 2 might come along that interests me, but it doesnt really grab hold of me, and it's not a genre I would say I fully understand. Cult Of Luna are ok. Their not gonna be a band that ... (read more)

Report this review (#513084) | Posted by arcane-beautiful | Friday, September 2, 2011 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Hmm, yet another experimental post rock/metal band, this time in the form of Sweeden's Cult Of Luna, who have been having some underground scuccess for quite a while now, although this is the only album i have heard or even own of theirs my friend turned me on to them, and i must admit i quite en ... (read more)

Report this review (#282547) | Posted by FarBeyondProg | Tuesday, May 18, 2010 | Review Permanlink

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