CULT OF LUNA

Atmospheric Sludge Metal / Sludge Metal / Metal Related • Sweden
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Cult of Luna is a Swedish atmospheric / progressive sludge metal band formed in 1998 in Umeå, Sweden by guitarist Johannes Persson and vocalist Klas Rydberg.

https://cultofluna.bandcamp.com

The band had new ideas on how to explore and develop their music. After some member hunting and rehearsals CoL had its first line-up consisting of: Klas Rydberg, Johannes Persson, Magnus Lindberg, Erik Olofsson and Fredrik Renstrom. After a short period of time, Fredrik had to leave due to some personal difficulties.

When practice started to pay off, CoL recorded a two-track demo in January 1999. After some more rehearsals, the band felt that to fully live out their dream of sound experimenting, an additional member was needed to handle the electronics. Since Magnus had both knowledge and equipment, he was an obvious choice. Given that Magnus had handled the drums earlier they needed a new drummer, who they found in the mutual friend
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CULT OF LUNA Discography

CULT OF LUNA albums / top albums

CULT OF LUNA Cult Of Luna album cover 2.82 | 7 ratings
Cult Of Luna
Sludge Metal 2001
CULT OF LUNA The Beyond album cover 2.85 | 11 ratings
The Beyond
Atmospheric Sludge Metal 2003
CULT OF LUNA Salvation album cover 4.05 | 20 ratings
Salvation
Atmospheric Sludge Metal 2004
CULT OF LUNA Somewhere Along The Highway album cover 4.07 | 36 ratings
Somewhere Along The Highway
Atmospheric Sludge Metal 2006
CULT OF LUNA Eternal Kingdom album cover 3.76 | 15 ratings
Eternal Kingdom
Atmospheric Sludge Metal 2008
CULT OF LUNA Vertikal album cover 4.21 | 17 ratings
Vertikal
Atmospheric Sludge Metal 2013
CULT OF LUNA Mariner (with Julie Christmas) album cover 4.78 | 7 ratings
Mariner (with Julie Christmas)
Atmospheric Sludge Metal 2016
CULT OF LUNA A Dawn To Fear album cover 4.74 | 10 ratings
A Dawn To Fear
Atmospheric Sludge Metal 2019
CULT OF LUNA The Long Road North album cover 3.69 | 4 ratings
The Long Road North
Atmospheric Sludge Metal 2022

CULT OF LUNA EPs & splits

CULT OF LUNA Switchblade / Cult Of Luna album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Switchblade / Cult Of Luna
Atmospheric Sludge Metal 2000
CULT OF LUNA Cult Of Luna album cover 3.50 | 1 ratings
Cult Of Luna
Atmospheric Sludge Metal 2002
CULT OF LUNA Vertikal II album cover 4.04 | 4 ratings
Vertikal II
Atmospheric Sludge Metal 2013
CULT OF LUNA Råångest album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Råångest
Atmospheric Sludge Metal 2015
CULT OF LUNA The Raging River album cover 3.50 | 5 ratings
The Raging River
Atmospheric Sludge Metal 2021

CULT OF LUNA live albums

CULT OF LUNA Live At The Scala album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Live At The Scala
Atmospheric Sludge Metal 2010
CULT OF LUNA Years In A Day album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Years In A Day
Atmospheric Sludge Metal 2017
CULT OF LUNA Mariner Live At De Kreun - Belgium (with Julie Christmas) album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Mariner Live At De Kreun - Belgium (with Julie Christmas)
Atmospheric Sludge Metal 2018

CULT OF LUNA demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

CULT OF LUNA Bodies / Recluse album cover 3.50 | 1 ratings
Bodies / Recluse
Atmospheric Sludge Metal 2006

CULT OF LUNA re-issues & compilations

CULT OF LUNA Eternal Music album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Eternal Music
Metal Related 2014

CULT OF LUNA singles (4)

.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
The Wreck Of S.S. Needle (with Julie Christmas)
Atmospheric Sludge Metal 2016
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Cygnus (Perturbator remix) (with Julie Christmas)
Metal Related 2018
.. Album Cover
3.50 | 1 ratings
The Silent Man
Atmospheric Sludge Metal 2019
.. Album Cover
4.00 | 1 ratings
Lay Your Head To Rest
Atmospheric Sludge Metal 2019

CULT OF LUNA movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)

.. Album Cover
5.00 | 1 ratings
Fire Was Born
Atmospheric Sludge Metal 2009
.. Album Cover
4.00 | 1 ratings
Eviga Riket
Metal Related 2010

CULT OF LUNA Reviews

CULT OF LUNA The Long Road North

Album · 2022 · Atmospheric Sludge Metal
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siLLy puPPy
Love em or hate em, Sweden’s CULT OF LUNA has become one of the most recognized names in post-metal alongside bands like Neurosis, Isis and Agalloch. This band from Umeå has also been quite productive in its two decade career having never taking longer than three years to craft new material to release. This is also one of those bands that continues to become more popular with each subsequent release with a loyal fanbase that seems to go gaga every time the band puts out a new album and so it seems is the case with the band’s latest 12th full album release THE LONG ROAD NORTH.

While there is an overlap between what is called atmospheric sludge metal and what has become referred to as post-metal, CULT OF LUNA more than any other has crafted a brand of angsty sludge metal teased out into sprawling post-rock constructs arguable more successfully than any other band out there. Following their huge hit album “A Dawn To Fear” which was top album on many metal sites in 2019, THE LONG ROAD NORTH continues down the post-sludgy highway. One of CULT OF LUNA’s trademarks is a long and drifting musical style that almost always slinks past the 60-minute mark and oft pushing the boundaries of CD playing time and this latest 2022 effort is no exception to that rule.

THE LONG ROAD NORTH presents nine brand spankin’ new tracks that conspire to steal 69 minutes of your life with CULT OF LUNA’s classic atmospheric rivers of post-rock meeting sludge metal and the consistent contrast of emotionally charged clean vocal passages with the dramatic discharge of screaming sludge metal excess. As the band has matured the tones and textures of the ambience have become more sophisticated and augmented by a number of guest musicians which in this case includes four guest musicians that contribute saxophone, flute, lyrics and even more guitars above and beyond the parts the three permanent guitarists already contribute. Despite the abundance of six-strings on board, CULT OF LUNA has oft seemed more of a post-rock band than a true metal band as the metal parts seem like only half the equation but lo and behold when the time is right, the loud and proud aspects of sludgery supreme are let off their leash to a deafening uproar!

Another predominant aspect of CULT OF LUNA’s approach is to offer a hypnotic psychedelic flow to its music and in that regard the metal riffs and heavier passages are almost subordinate to. There is a lot more attention paid to the swirling sounds of the softer parts whereas the metal bombast consists of power chords and increased energy level of the bass and drums. A boon for lovers of Krautrock, neo-psychedelic experimentalism and minimalism but somewhat of a downer for metalheads seeking a more robust discharge of guitar, bass and drum fury. CULT OF LUNA seem to be invested in the hypnotic effects of repetition and cyclical loops more in the vein of Godspeed You! Black Emperor than the atomic sludgery of bands like Neurosis but as the opening “Cold Burn” and title track showcase, the band has no problem switching gears to the atmospheric sludge angst of bands like Isis and Panopticon in a heartbeat.

Overall CULT OF LUNA is a band i respect more than actually enjoy. I find their albums a bit too sprawling for my tastes given the limited scope of material presented however there’s no denying that the material they craft is effective in what it’s trying to achieve. The problem results in the fact that when i want my post-metal sludge attack i want the hardcore no nonsense approach of early Neurosis or the more progressive twists and turns of bands like Intronaut leaving CULT OF LUNA down the list of my interests. Having said that, this band is hotter than freshly ejected magma for a reason and that is because they have mastered a unique atmospheric procession of post-metal that offers that perfect balance of chill time and eruptive outrage however for my tastes THE LONG ROAD NORTH doesn’t deviate in style from pretty much every other album CULT OF LUNA has released and the length of the album is an arduous task indeed. A competent and exhilarating album indeed but for me personally this one doesn’t really scratch that itch.

CULT OF LUNA Vertikal

Album · 2013 · Atmospheric Sludge Metal
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Peacock Feather
After the schizophrenic stream of consciousness demonstrated at Eternal Kingdom, Swedish post-metalists from Cult of Luna turn to the abstract elevation and move further away from sludge component, replacing it with abundant electronics inlays, which, by the way, open even more and even larger spaces, as if the listener put in place of the lyrical hero of Mute Departure. In general, post-metal is a genre in which you need to perfectly play intonations, and Cult of Luna always succeeds in doing it great, although, it would seem, the entire field of the genre was plowed almost 10 years ago, when the ball ruled by a well-known group with a forbidden name (in Russia at least).

Yet not burdened by talent, Cult of Luna somehow miraculously still shows the power of post-metal, and they can create truly mesmerizing things with its extraterrestrial beauty in such a chimerical genre, whether it's a psychedelic and powerful I: The Weapon, epic in every sense Vicarious Redemption or piercing Mute Departure. There is a place on the album for more classic CoL things, such as Synchronicity and In Awe Of, well, where without electronic interludes.

Vertikal shows that Swedish adherents are still great masters in creating monuments of their genre, monuments that grow different muscles and which function in a completely magical way. Whether it's the chemistry developed over a long time between the participants, or it's just a huge talent, multiplied by the expedibility of the material on the album (based, as you all know, on the masterpiece of German cinema of the 20s called "Metropolis"), verdict remains simple: a magnificent sample of the '10 post-metal and one of the best albums made by Cult of Luna.

CULT OF LUNA A Dawn To Fear

Album · 2019 · Atmospheric Sludge Metal
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adg211288
A Dawn to Fear (2019) is the eighth full-length studio album by Swedish atmospheric sludge metal act Cult of Luna. As their last album Mariner (2016) was a collaboration effort with vocalist Julie Christmas (Battle of Mice, Made Out of Babies), A Dawn to Fear marks the first 'pure' Cult of Luna studio album since Vertikal (2013). It is a double album consisting of eight tracks, most of them lengthy, with half passing ten minutes each. The total length just passes 79 minutes, which is actually about what a standard CD can handle at a push, but I guess the decision was made to play it safe from a technical point of view, since I have heard of CDs having playback issues on their final tracks when the maximum duration is reached. Still, it's on the line enough to avoid accusations of passing a single album off as a double, unlike the couple of minutes shorter Hardwired... To Self-Destruct (2016) by Metallica, which really should have been a single CD, not a double with a double's price to go with it.

But even if it would fit on a single disc, we can forgive Cult of Luna more than we can Metallica, because unlike the legendary on/off thrash metal band, Cult of Luna has delivered exactly what any fan of the band would have wanted in A Dawn to Fear. This could possibly be their best album to date, which is coming from someone who was so blown away by Mariner that he had to confess to wishing several times that Cult of Luna + Julie Christmas would become a permanent thing. Then they release this. The kind of album that immediately grabs your attention and drags you down into its atmospheric sludge metal and softer post-rock passages, leaving you submerged in it's sound, which is distinctly that of Cult of Luna even if the only prior album you've heard happens to be Mariner, for its duration and only allowing you to surface upon its conclusion. A conclusion which seems to come around much sooner than it's near eighty minute length would suggest it should.

On a personal level I first heard Cult of Luna's music with Vertikal. That album was very likely also my first taste of the atmospheric sludge metal style. It quickly became an album I enjoyed very much, but it was only with Mariner that I started to really pay attention to how good the band actually was. I've since been back and heard fan favourite albums Salvation (2004) and Somewhere Along the Highway (2006), both of which are also excellent releases that cement Cult of Luna's reputation as the world's premium, not just atmospheric sludge, but sludge metal in general, act. It's to my own detriment that, including A Dawn to Fear, my knowledge of the band's catalogue only extends to just over half the the studio albums.

Mariner has, in the few years since it's release, become one of only a few albums released since that time that is still in a fairly regular rotation for me. It has that indescribable something that keeps pulling me back. While it is still early days, I can't see that A Dawn to Fear is going to be any different in that regard. Mariner was a grower; the kind of album you suddenly realise is one of your favourites. A Dawn to Fear is instant satisfaction. There was never any doubt in my mind that it would be good, but this good? Truth be told, it's single-handed got me out of a slump regarding new music. This is actually the first review I have written since November 2018. That's how good it is.

Saying any more about the album's specifics feels like I would be doing an injustice to the experience that Cult of Luna has created in this album. A Dawn to Fear offers up tracks that are each substantial enough to be taken as individual entities but like with many atmospheric albums it's surely best taken as a whole rather than try to pick it apart as say this song or that song is a highlight. If you've listened to the band before at any point in their now twenty+ year long career, even if you only came to them on Mariner through Julie Christmas, then stop everything and do yourself a solid: buy A Dawn to Fear immediately. For this listener's money, it's quite likely the album of 2019.

CULT OF LUNA Mariner (with Julie Christmas)

Album · 2016 · Atmospheric Sludge Metal
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adg211288
Mariner (2016) is a collaborative full-length studio album release by Swedish sludge metal act Cult of Luna and American musician Julie Christmas (ex-Battle of Mice). For Cult of Luna Mariner serves as their seventh studio album, following Vertikal (2013) while for Julie Christmas it serves as a second album following The Bad Wife (2010). Mariner has a theme of space exploration and contains five tracks, each of them over the eight minute mark.

Of the two artists I only have some experience with Cult of Luna's work previously, have heard both Vertikal and the accompanying Vertikal II EP (2013). Julie Christmas I know has a similar sludge metal background though, so it's no surprise that the two artists prove a very compatible pairing on Mariner. The music is incredibly atmospheric but with plenty of harsh sections as well, mostly from the vocals provided by Cult of Luna, although Christmas isn't shy to throw in some screams as well. Typically the two both provide vocals in a track, but middle song The Wreck of S.S. Needle is notable for only using Julie's vocals, while the following Approaching Transition takes an opposite approach, not featuring her voice at all.

I usually find that atmospheric black metal acts have a monopoly on capturing the majesty of space, but between them Cult of Luna and Julie Christmas have created an experience to rival their cosmic black metal counterparts, also producing something more unique sounding in the process. Tracks like Chevron and Cygnus are of particular note, but the album has to be taken as a whole in order to really appreciate what's been created here, as the mood can vary quite a lot. The Wreck of S.S. Needle for example is a much more direct track focussing more on riffs than atmosphere, with Christmas providing a varied vocal than ranges from soft singing to manic screaming. Sometimes the album can seem simplistic on the surface, but once scratched many underlying details are revealed, some of which I'd even call progressive, all of which makes up the absorbing sound that makes Mariner such a great album.

I was impressed with Cult of Luna on Vertikal but I have to say that I enjoy Mariner so much more. Not only does Julie Christmas bring a voice that is a nice addition to the table, it simply seems to be an even stronger album on all counts. Mariner is definitely something more than a Cult of Luna album with a guest female vocalist. I'd like to hear these two work together again.

CULT OF LUNA Bodies / Recluse

Promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs) · 2006 · Atmospheric Sludge Metal
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FMOTP
"Bodies/Recluse" is a good release to listen to if you have an interest in the band, and want to know what Cult of Luna sounds like. As the track list above says, these are cover versions of songs by Smashing Pumpkins and Unbroken. The songs have definitely been given the Cult of Luna treatment. Klas Rydberg's shouting vocals, the crushing guitars, the pounding drums are all here.

As a big fan of Cult of Luna, I love their sound. What's missing is some of the variety in dynamics and sound pallet that we hear on their full-length albums. I'm not familiar with either of the original songs, so it's tough to draw comparisons. I will say that COL's cover eliminates the major roadblock I face with Smashing Pumpkins, which is Billy Corgan's voice! This single is definitely not on the same level as Cult of Luna's albums. However, it works very well as a brief sampling of the band's sound for the uninitiated.

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