Cult of Luna – Vertikal

Cult of Luna - Vertikal

At their sixth album, Cult Of Luna once again keep their roots solidly untouched, experimenting more with sound and exploring new sonic territories they’d yet to venture in. ‘Vertikal’ hasn’t pleased all fans because of these reasons, or because it’s been thought that these new ideas haven’t been developed in a better way. Opinions vary, but in my eyes this is one of the better albums by the Swedish band, and it’s good to see that experimentation in Metal bands today is still very embraced.

On this new album, Cult Of Luna take a step forward especially with the sonic decorations, these bursts of electronic layering that in the past were present, excellent, but not essential, are now pretty prominent, and sound quite different as well: the rough production creates these razor-sharp synth pulses that come and go throughout the album, some of them are not at all accompaniments and play a major, if not completely essential role for a track. This peculiarly rough production compliments also the crushing guitars, here more crushing than any other Cult Of Luna LP so far, and that is saying a lot.

But Cult Of Luna have not distanced themselves from their original style enough to not sound like Cult Of Luna: the riffs are overall crafted in the same fashion as their previous compositions, and anyone who has heard their previous work can confirm.

As for the album itself: it’s an album that at first feels a little generic and familiar, but with further listens, it reveals a sophistication that was heard only on the band’s better albums. Every song has its unique role, and they all do the job done well, some times, excellently. ‘I, The Weapon’ and ‘Synchronicity’ are the catchiest and at the same time better structured songs, in spite of the eighteen minute monster ‘Vicarious Redemption’, which is nicely arranged and structured but doesn’t quite justify its length. ‘Mute Departure’ has nice, heavy moments, ‘The Sweep’ is an interesting divisive interlude of the album and ‘Passing Through’ closes everything quite well, a calm, tense piece that ends it all with a suspended note.

‘Vertical’ is the living proof that Cult Of Luna have not stepped down their game just yet, and are willing meander into new paths and directions, sounding a whole lot more interesting than many Sludge Metal bands today, who merely model a sound that is perhaps too familiar nowadays.


01. The One (2:19)
02. I: The Weapon (9:40)
03. Vicarious Redemption (19:25)
04. The Sweep (3:14)
05. Synchronicity (7:26)
06. Mute Departure (8:40)
07. Disharmonia (0:45)
08. In Awe Of (10:14)
09. Passing Through (6:13)


* Johannes Persson – guitars, vocals
* Erik Olofsson – guitars
* Fredrik Kihlberg -guitar, vocals
* Andreas Johansson – bass guitar
* Anders Teglund – keyboards, samples
* Thomas Hedlund – drums
* Magnus Líndberg – percussion

Written by Nick Leonardi

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