Before we start, I’ve got to say I don’t like writing reviews much – even though I really like reading them. But when CVLT Nation asked me to write about the new Cult of Luna record, it was one of those things that are just impossible to say no to. Simply put, to me (and to many others, I believe), this Swedish group is one of the most inventive metal bands in the last 20 years or so.
Besides that, it has been a really long time since their most recent full length, Vertikal, that was released in 2013 – in the meantime, they did a collaborative record with Julie Christmas and a split with The Old Wind, both released in 2016. So it’s fair to say I was really curious, to say the least, about what they had done after so much time.
And after listening to these new songs over and over, I can say for sure the wait was worthy.
With almost 80 minutes long, which are divided in eight songs, including many with more than 10 minutes, A Dawn to Fear carries the same bleak atmosphere and epic feeling that were present on Vertikal. But things get even heavier and darker this time.
As we’re talking about Cult of Luna, darkness and heaviness don’t always come in the most common ways – like guttural vocals and tons of distortion. Since 2006, when they released the now classic Somewhere Along the Highway, the band has specialized in mixing all sorts of influences and references in a very particular way.
And it seems like all those years and albums come together in A Dawn to Fear, that also sounds a bit more direct and organic than Vertikal.
Although the new record brings Cult of Luna’s “classic sound”, it also goes on a lot of different directions – in a very successful way. Since the opening with the heavy “The Silent Man”, passing by the title song with its apocalyptic feeling, until the epic closing with “The Fall”, it’s a really, really solid record.
We are still months away until 2019 fades, but after my recent sonic trip with A Dawn to Fear, I already know what record will be at the top of my list in December.