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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.

They 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 Marco
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CULT OF LUNA Discography

CULT OF LUNA albums / top albums

CULT OF LUNA Cult Of Luna album cover 2.87 | 6 ratings
Cult Of Luna
Sludge Metal 2001
CULT OF LUNA The Beyond album cover 2.83 | 10 ratings
The Beyond
Atmospheric Sludge Metal 2003
CULT OF LUNA Salvation album cover 4.04 | 18 ratings
Atmospheric Sludge Metal 2004
CULT OF LUNA Somewhere Along The Highway album cover 4.07 | 34 ratings
Somewhere Along The Highway
Atmospheric Sludge Metal 2006
CULT OF LUNA Eternal Kingdom album cover 3.76 | 14 ratings
Eternal Kingdom
Atmospheric Sludge Metal 2008
CULT OF LUNA Vertikal album cover 4.22 | 15 ratings
Atmospheric Sludge Metal 2013
CULT OF LUNA Mariner (with Julie Christmas) album cover 4.81 | 4 ratings
Mariner (with Julie Christmas)
Atmospheric Sludge Metal 2016
CULT OF LUNA A Dawn To Fear album cover 4.90 | 6 ratings
A Dawn To Fear
Atmospheric Sludge Metal 2019

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 4.12 | 3 ratings
Vertikal II
Atmospheric Sludge Metal 2013
CULT OF LUNA Råångest album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Atmospheric Sludge Metal 2015

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



Album · 2019 · Atmospheric Sludge Metal
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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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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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"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.


Album · 2001 · Sludge Metal
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"Cult of Luna" is the debut full-length studio album by Swedish sludge/post metal act Cult of Luna. The album was released through Rage of Achilles Records in August 2001. Earache Records re-released the album on CD in 2003 and on double vinyl in 2010.

The music on the album is sludge/post metal with roots in post hardcore (the Swedish post harcore pioneers in Breach are definitely not unknown to these guys). The tracks are mostly slow-to mid paced featuring some really raw and heavy sludgy riffing and some pretty extreme shouting vocals. The music is for the most part rather abrasive and probably purposedly designed to make your ears bleed but there are some more atmospheric post metal parts in the music too. They are very few though and this is first and foremost a brick heavy and fiercely aggressive album. The general lack of dynamics in the tracks, can make the 8 track, 61:06 minutes long album a bit of a trial to get through but if you like them as harsh, uninviting and raw as they come this album certainly applies.

The sound production is equally raw and gritty and it´s hard not to at least partially enjoy the sensation of being hit on the head by a brick heavy dose of sludge/post metal when it is delivered with the fierce conviction and professionalism as it is here. A 3.5 star (70%) rating is deserved.


Album · 2013 · Atmospheric Sludge Metal
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The three Cult of Luna albums I'd heard preceding this - the run from Salvation to Eternal Highway - had all presented enjoyable post-metal soundscapes, but I'd always felt that there was the potential for them to raise the bar a little, and on Vertikal they had just done that. Juxtaposing their trademark sludge metal-derived rants with bleak instrumental passages which really capture the bleak, monochrome sound the band are going for. It particularly comes together on the epic Vicarious Redemption, which comes into slow, juddering life like an engine firing up and doesn't let go once it gets rolling. In short, it's Cult of Luna's best yet.

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