CULT OF LUNA — Somewhere Along The Highway

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CULT OF LUNA - Somewhere Along The Highway cover
4.03 | 31 ratings | 4 reviews
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Album · 2006

Tracklist


1. Marching to the Heartbeats (03:13)
2. Finland (10:44)
3. Back to Chapel Town (07:10)
4. And With Her Came the Birds (05:58)
5. Thirtyfour (09:58)
6. Dim (11:47)
7. Dark City, Dead Man (15:50)

Total Time 64:40

Line-up/Musicians


- Thomas Hedlund / drums, percussion
- Andreas Johansson / bass
- Fredrik Kihlberg / guitar, vocals
- Magnus Lindberg / drums
- Erik Olofsson / guitar
- Johannes Persson guitar, vocals
- Klas Rydberg / vocals
- Anders Teglund / keyboards, electronics

Additional Musicians:

- Martin Gustafson / backing vocals (track 1)
- David Sundqvist / Electronics (track 6), programmed drums (track 7)

About this release

CD released 24th April 2006 on Earache Records (MOSH 344CD) / carus Music (ICARUS 242) / Союз (MOSH 344CD).

CD digipack released April 2006 on Earache Records (MOSH 344CDL), with additional artwork and limited to 8000 copies.

Recorded and mixed by Magnus Lindberg.
Lyrics by Johannes Persson.
Mastered by Pelle Henricsson.

Thanks to NecronCommander, Stooge, xaxaar, adg211288, Bosh66 for the updates

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CULT OF LUNA SOMEWHERE ALONG THE HIGHWAY reviews

Specialists/collaborators reviews

Phonebook Eater
8/10

Desolation In Its Roundest Body.

"Somewhere Along The Highway" is recognized as the magnum opus of Swedish Sludge Metal band Cult Of Luna. Although an album like "Salvation", which was the band's previous effort, would be a good competitor to the honorable title, this fourth album showed a quality that "Salvation" didn't have in great abundance: a distinct, extremely original sound that can only be of COL. Turns out in the end that "Somewhere Along The Highway" is not only the best Cult Of Luna LP so far, it is also THE Cult Of Luna album by definition.

This is one of those albums in which every song stands out for being different from the rest of the tracks, in some form or the other, and one of those albums that has an extremely peculiar structure. There are as usual strong, heavy moments alternated with softer ones, but there is a greater sense of dynamism and interplay than in what was heard in "Salvation", making it an even more elaborate listen. In its more atmospheric moments, the music brings to life feelings of loneliness and despair, without ever being depressing, almost as if it were an album that has accepted its solitude long ago, and is simply manifesting it to an audience.

From the syncopated claps that begin "Finland", the second track of the album, the listener already familiar with the band's previous work notices the change in direction COL has faced, and appreciates how high the level of finesse the band has reached in both production and song-writing. This song might just be the best thing Cult Of Luna has ever done, and this is just starting the whole experience. "Back From Chapel Town" is another excellent track, with a handful of smooth transitional moments and an explosive middle piece. "And With Her Came The Birds" is the song that separates the two halves of the album, a tense, quiet track that however unveils a sense of beauty Cult Of Luna probably never have shown before.

Now the second half of the album is inferior to the amazing first half, but it has the advantage of having " Dark City, Dead Man", probably the most well-arranged and structured song the band has recorded so far, extending across a impressing arch of fifteen minutes.

The so-called Atmospheric Sludge Metal/Post-Metal movement owes a lot to this album. It's one that many can find themselves loving even though not necessarily being fans of either the band or the genre. Calling it a landmark in 21st century Metal music would probably be close enough to enclose its stellar value with one sentence.
Warthur
Cult of Luna keep their post-metal sound fresh on Somewhere Along the Highway by, in essence, not using it so much - on the whole, the album is split between passages of post-metal mayhem and gentler sections of music more reminiscent of post-rock. The risk of such an approach is, of course, that the end product will come across as an attempt at straddling the fence between the two sibling genres without committing to one or the other, but in this case I think it works well - Cult of Luna essentially draw on the sonic toolkit of both genres in order to diversify their sound and use the right approach at the right moment in their compositions. The end result is an album which would appeal to fans of either genre, and sounds far more diverse than most works in this line.
Xaxaar
It's truly a beautiful and emotional trip, this album is.

I think many people would agree with me when I say that this is Cult of Luna's best piece. That being said, it's an album that requires all of your attention while listening. It's also not an album for the ones with short attention spans. As you can imagine, it being a post metal album and all, there is a lot of repetition. As some look at this as a bad thing, I truly feel more immersed in the whole experience.

The bass and guitars are just so perfect on this album. They have a perfect tone and add to what the album is all about. They also add another element to the music. Besides the main melody and the bass riff, you'll often hear the other guitar(s) doing something to enhance the mood even further. You can tell how much thought they put into these songs, just trying to get it absolutely perfect. These are the things you can really miss and thus if you pay attention to it you'll have a more enjoyable listening experience.

Now one thing that definitely surprised me about this album is how good the drumming is. Is it the most technical stuff ever? Of course not; the whole album is not one you listen to for technicality. The drumming is just very creative. It's hard to imagine another drummer on this album just because he has so many memorable parts. But what I will say is that the drumming could have definitely went a more basic and uninspiring route and I'm very glad it didn't. Oddly enough, the drumming is one of the hilights for me on this post metal record.

Lastly, the vocals and lyrics. To me, the lyrics are perfectly reflected by the vocals. The whole album gives this sense of claustrophobic loneliness and the vocals do not disappoint in that respect. The shouting vocals in the climax of their songs never gets old and the haunting clean vocals in songs like "And With Her Came The Birds" are just wonderful. This album really has no weak points in the line-up; everyone is just so strong. Truly the best post metal record I've heard.

Marching To The Heartbeats - the first song off the album. It is just an intro, though, but it greatly succeeds at what it's trying to do: sets you up for the journey to come. Basically a bunch of droning guitars with the clean vocals, definitely an excellent start to the album, though.

Finland - this is where the album kicks off. After you heard all of that ambience, the drums just come in with full force. It then later calms back down to another ambient guitar thing, but this time with some drums, and they do really add a very nice touch. The things beyond the basics of this song are the things you have to pay attention to to really "get it." The song climaxes perfectly and everything scaling up to that is a wonderfully memorable experience. An awesome song, indeed.

Back To Chapel Town - Droning guitars, we meet again. That's another thing I should add, if you're against guitars being ambient to enhance the mood, you'll absolutely hate this album. But personally, I love it, as I also do the way the use it in this song. When the drums kick in, it's another great-sounding composed drum beat. I really do appreciate the drums in this album because I could imagine just a normal beat going there and it doesn't sound nearly as awesome. But this song achieves what it's trying to do. Sorta slowly fade in, then climax, then slowly fade out again. The synergy that all of these instruments have between each other in this song is also something great.

And With Her Came The Birds - For me, this song is kind of the intermission. It's 6 minutes of very ambient stuff. By intermission, I do not mean "Oh and it's this, going to get up and get a drink real quick." No, not at all, it's a very good song, it's just here I feel like the album divides itself. The calm before the storm is the best way I can describe it.

Thirtyfour - One of the more interesting songs of the album song structure wise. It kinda slowly climaxes up, introduces the drums, they start doing those awesome fills and whatnot, but then it just kinda drops again. But I do like it. That drop gives more of a claustrophobic feeling for when the real climax actually does hit. But then it drops out again after that climax and then builds towards another one. I do love a song with song structures like this and this is sure no exception.

Dim - Now this song is really an experience. Definitely one of the hilights on the album. The first 8 minutes of the song are just pure instrumental genius. The mood is actually kind of up-beat, almost giving a sense of hope. But then, like I said 8 minutes in, the more distorted guitar along with the shouting vocals come back in and you get that old sense the album had on you. And, probably how weird it is to point out alone, I really like the keyboard outro. You can faintly hear it growing in the back until that's the only thing you can hear. Well, of course not including the next song.

Dark City, Dead Man - This song I can safely say IS an utter masterpiece. My favorite song on this wonderful album, hands down. Definitely in my "top 5 songs of all time." It's just so perfect and so powerful. Whenever I hear this song, it always is just such a powerhouse. Every moment after the drums first go on the toms and then flams on the snare twice. It's just awesome stuff. I also can't say how cool I think that riff really is. I also love how the drums slowly progress in the song by only utilizing the hi-hat. Opening to get a more powerful effect and also just using more hits to get a feel of more of a driving force. You get such a sense of darkness and being sealed in at this point. The ending is one of the most powerful, if not the most powerful, ending I have heard. The sense of drag that the instruments give is just magical, honestly. It's the best way to sum up this song, and this album in fact: it's just powerful.

If you're on the fence about picking up this album, I will definitely be the one to push you over. One of the best musical journies I have taken and this one may have the best ending.

Highly recommended!
Conor Fynes
'Somewhere Along The Highway...' - Cult Of Luna (9/10)

Before purchasing 'Somewhere Along The Highway,' I had no idea who Cult Of Luna were, besides the fact that they were a post-metal band and that this particular album came in high regard. To that effect, when I saw it lying in a used record store, I didn't think twice before picking it up. To my delight, what I was blessed with was one of the most atmospheric and emotionally charged albums I have ever heard.

While most people think of Isis or Kayo Dot when it comes to post-metal, Cult Of Luna really have some solid chops, and give a fine definition of the genre with this album. A concept piece revolving around male loneliness and sole travel, these feelings are transmitted perfectly, as were the album a vessel for emotion.

While a lot of the songs are pretty extended in their length, there's a great deal of repetition used and edgy build-ups traditional of post-music. While the guitars are heavily distorted and extreme screams are used a lot here, there is a feeling that the music itself is not heavy, but instead a very distorted form of mellow. The guitar sludge is used in no short supply, but all the way throughout, it feels like everything is under control. It is this sense of control that makes it all the more dramatic when things to get out of control during the most intense segments.

While it's hard to hear the lyrics through the growls and yelling, what little I can decipher fits the music perfectly and really compliments the overlying theme of the album. Things really take an even mellower turn with softer sections such as 'And With Her Came The Birds.' During this particular song, while it's not my favourite musically, it best encapsulates the feeling of driving along a rain swept highway and night better than any other song I've listened to, I believe.

Speaking of musical highlights, they include the opening track 'Marching To The Heartbeats,' the first fleshed out composition (and my favourite of the album) 'Finland,'- a very powerful track that doesn't forget to have it's tender and sweet moments and 'Dim,' another mostly instrumental track in the typical post-metal vein. Overall, this album fits together perfectly, and each track compliments each other. Dare I call this one of my favourite metal albums of all time, but that wouldn't be very far from the truth at all. A really inspirational work in the realm of metal, and the perfect introduction to this Scandanavian band.

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