Originally written by Ryan Plunkett
Often times, bands that have intriguing names also have an intriguing sound. Cult of Luna is no exception. Their latest album, The Beyond, is a combination of epic songs and haunting, dark atmospheres.
This is one of those discs that takes a while to sink in. Clocking in at over 70 minutes, there’s a lot that needs to be absorbed. I’m working on my seventh time through the album right now and I’m still catching parts I missed before, just because the sound is so massive.
The thing that always strikes me first with The Beyond is the heavy, sludgy guitar riffs, compliments of Johannes Persson and Erik Olofsson, and the crushing thud of the bass in the background, courtesy of Andreas Johannson. The guitars are often heavily distorted, but they exemplify the dark sound of the album. I really like the clean guitar work on the song “Circle”. It comes across as rather relaxing and soothing, yet there seems to be something quite not right about it; like that little kid smirking at you with his hands behind his back. The drums are executed rather well. When it comes to music with a slow pace like Cult of Luna has, you need some good fills, and Marco Hildén does not let down. Magnus Lindberg creates some interesting samples and sounds that give off really dark undertones through the entirety of the album. The stuff in the song “The Watchtower” is just plain creepy. It actually sounds like wind rustling through a watchtower, it’s really cool.
Vokill-wise, this has a very hardcore sound to it. Klas Rydberg’s vokills remind of Jamey Jasta from Hatebreed. They have that very brute force sound to them which I really dig. The production on this has a raw edge that really works for the album. It’s very haunting. My only complaint is a really small one, and that is the bass drum could’ve been a tad louder in some of the heavier guitar parts, but that’s a minor qualm.
Overall, I really enjoyed this disc. I think my enjoyment of it will grow with each listen, also. I don’t think I could pull this one out too often, but when I do I know I’ll be in for a dark ride through hell. If you’re up for an interesting listen, I suggest you check out Cult of Luna.