Cult of Luna – Vertikal

Cult of Luna - Vertikal3.5/5

Genre: Metal, Progressive

Release Date: January 29, 2013

Record Label: Indie Recordings






Cult Of Luna’s sixth outing comes with little in the way of surprises but manages to triumph in its consistent approach to an already established sound in today’s music industry. Since the bands inception in 1998 there has been an array of line-up changes, shifting the band’s sound to focus on pushing everyday soundscapes and traditional workings of a post-rock/metal group into something graduated, without displaying a contrived sense of songwriting. Now down the trail a fair bit and Cult Of Luna are displaying a resounding sense of ingenuity, maturity and most importantly: more consistency than ever on their sixth outing Vertikal. But while Cult Of Luna are hammering out the last of their songwriting kinks, making Vertikal conveniently concise, they are regressing on a different level. The music, for the most part is instantly recognizable but at the same time Cult Of Luna allow the music to come across fresh, without repeating themselves too much.

First things listeners will notice is that the sound is unmistakeably Cult Of Luna, Vertikal dabbles in every facet shown in previous records and while not completely new or innovative by any means Cult Of Luna have indeed shaken things up in terms of their career. This nine track display idolizes distinct levels of juxtapositional contrast  to draw the listener in. Take the longest track for example “Vicarious Redemption,” at a moderate near-nineteen-minutes, uses a majority of minimalistic passages almost void of actual instrumentation, throw in a couple of electronic wobbling and ambient effects and this track alone becomes an exhausting, almost suffocating listen. This is before some simplistic down tuned riffs proceeded to be the headliner for the ever excellent vocal talent of Johannes Persson and Fredrik Kihlberg. This mid-tempo track is an excellent example of what the band has to offer; although minimalistic in nature and not without a few bumps here and there “Vicarious Redemption” has a bit of everything.

It seems come 2013, Cult Of Luna are steadying up the routine, but not without creating an interesting listen. The band itself has nowhere near run its course over the last fifteen years and with Vertikal are only building steam. Despite being based conceptually in the records design, the appearance of any contextual grandeur adds little to the album’s overall reception. Whether the listener can take something away that connects at a primal level the story-line remains rather hearsay — it’s there but for the most part there is no need to care for it.

Overall, Vertikal makes as much from the listeners as the listeners make from the album. Coming in at just over an hour, this display of creative talent crossed with a willingness to keep pushing (even if you’re not sure what you’re pushing for) makes for an enjoyable but far from mind-blowing listen. Using a combination of synths, screamed vocals and minimalistic soundscapes does not make for a stellar listen; rather the albums grabs then let’s go of the listener like a dog chasing a car – it might catch up but then what happens. Vertikal holds as much interest as the previous records without conforming to the bands own rule book. For an album that can occasionally be a chore to get through the highlights do make up for it. If you’re a fan of their last few records this is something to check out and for those who are a little nonplussed about Cult Of Luna’s catalog there’s a fair chance that this release isn’t going to change any minds.


1. The One
2. I: The Weapon
3. Vicarious Redemption
4. The Sweep
5. Synchronicity
6. Mute Departure
7. Disharmonia
8. In Awe Of
9. Passing Through
10. The Flow Reversed (limited-edition bonus track)

Band Links:

Official Site || Facebook

Buy the Album:

[amazon_link id=”B00AGKHA84/?tag=thealterevi-20″ target=”_blank” >CD || MP3 || Vinyl

2 thoughts on “Cult of Luna – Vertikal

  1. “The ever excellent vocal talent of Klas Rydberg” 😉 Klas is no longer part of the band. Check your facts.

Comments are closed.