Cult of Luna-Eternal Kingdom
Sweden's eight piece band Cult of Luna encompass many styles as they take various parts of doom, death, progressive and others into their sound. Perhaps they fall into that post-metal category like Isis and Neurosis and others yet Cult of Luna's material is far more appealing to me. On Eternal Kingdom they slowly and I mean very slowly create emotional landscapes comprised of music, sounds and noises. The pace is plodding at times and the music can be repetitive yet the moods even the ones that make my nightmares seem tame are stunning. Other bands playing a similar style seem to live by a thick, textured feel and I think Cult of Luna have a more singular sound that allows the listener to really soak in each little part that they are churning out. Many of the parts they play might be simple by themselves yet the tones, pitches and arrangements help to turn something basic into something very rich. Sometimes the songs come out in a hazy trickle and sometimes they are cranked out with spine rattling heaviness. Yet just about every song had me waiting in anticipation for what was coming next. Now, despite everything I love about their music I have always struggled to deal with the vocals and they are not a great deal different here than in the past. Granted they are somewhat few and far between as the music takes most of the running time. Yet the vocals are just gruff at best and flavorless at their worst, either way they do more to distract than they do to enhance the overall sound. Slightly irritating vocals aside, this is still an album that is as dynamic as it is interesting.