Top 5: Cult of Luna

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Cult of Luna
Vertikal II

Indie Recordings/Density Records
Street: 09.21
Cult Of Luna = (Deafheaven – shoegaze) + electronica

Ascending out of the black abyss after five years of quietly lurking in the adumbrative shadows, Cult of Luna released their album, Vertikal I, which transcended the norm and boundaries of the typical metal wavelengths. With all the cultivation and care that went into Vertikal I, however, the album did not illuminate the full spectrum of sound that the band had intended to highlight. In 2013, Vertikal I was made whole, as Cult of Luna introduced three extra songs and a remix on a separate EP: Vertikal II. II simultaneously orbits and eclipses I by employing a mixture of layered sounds and electronic patterns. The EP starts with “ORO,” a spiritual and gothic stillness that drags effervescent waves of sound across reverberated and bent vocals. “Light Chaser” gradually builds, beginning with a simple foundation of sound as different elements of the beat enter, one by one, to create a gigantic, fast-paced structure of hypnotic high energy. The track’s vocals combine some vulture-like singing and sludge sounds with repeated words. Spreading out to 11 minutes long, the opening vocals of “Shun The Mask” enact a searing catharsis, emitting sound that clutches my gut and slams it to the ground. In conjunction with a purging caterwaul of sound, the abhorrent yet melodic undertow of guitar riffs move through waves of heavy drumbeats that are slow enough to eventually change the mood and timing of the song. The last song of Vertikal II, “Vincarious Redemption,” stands on the opposite side of the album’s soundscape as a remix by Justin Broadrick of Godflesh, who has bestowed the record with the electronic character that is expected of a remix. Cult of Luna have shone a new light upon a separate path of metal ideologies. –Joshua Joye