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10 Reviews
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nearly soiled myself!!, 14 May 2006
By 
Mr. S. J. Robson "sleepytimegorillaboy" (Truro, Cornwall, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Somewhere Along The Highway (Audio CD)
... why you ask?

I thought Salvation was an absolute masterpiece from start to finish. It opened my eyes (and ears) to the worlds of ISIS, PELICAN, EXPLOSIONS IN THE SKY, G S Y B E, etc.

But I think one of the most outstanding things about the Salvation album was it's wonderful flowing emotion, one minute you'll be hugged by the distant guitars and the next you'll be banging your feet on the ground to some of the heaviest most enchanting metal ever writen.

They have matured that little bit more with this album, introducing some interesting new electronic sound (but not too many!) and the genius use of a banjo (but not too much!).

It's still very early in the year but I may have found the top contender for album of the year (in my world).

They recorded it in a barn and it sounds bloody fantastic too - btw!

If you don't know them I would probably recommend "Salvation" first because I think to hear the growth from that album to this one is a monsterous pleasure in itself.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Haunting and unforgettable., 25 April 2006
By 
R. Draper (Manchester, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Somewhere Along The Highway (Audio CD)
I'll keep this as brief as I can, but this is by far the best record released in 2006 up to now, and I can't see anything beating it. It is sparse, melodic, atmospheric, eerie, astonishingly heavy and completely heartbreaking all at the same time. It's a near-perfect amalgamation of the sound Cult Of Luna have honed in their other records and is downright essential regardless of whether or not you're a fan of heavy music.

I can't praise it highly enough.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars very special indeed., 27 Sep 2007
By 
This review is from: Somewhere Along The Highway (Audio CD)
To put it simply, to not buy this album is a serious mistake. It is an incredible journey with a vast range of emotions and thought provoking moments. It is a piece of art. I live in north Wales and as i walked along a vast, empty beach listening to the song dark city, dead man; i looked up at the moon and felt that i was going to explode. This album like many great albums by Tool, Isis, Mono, Deftones, gave me one simple message- YOU are alive! There are not many bands that can do that, to make you feel like your heart will erupt from volcanic emotion. People, this album is £5 second hand and i would gladly pay £100 for it. So what are you waiting for? Go and inhanse your life and stay away from James blunt and Oasis before we all perish!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Post-metal; the thinking mans metal, 4 Sep 2008
By 
If I were a vulgar young man I would reel off a list of superlatives to describe the intensity and diversity of this magnificent Swedish made long player. However I will choose a more tender approach. I first got into Cult of Luna in 2003 with their 'The Beyond' release. I had recently got involved with bands such as Neurosis and Isis and they fitted in nicely alongside them. However last year, when I went to Roskilde I was somewhat blase about seeing them. I just thought they would be a pleasant alternative to Red Hot Chili Peppers. I was wrong. They were so much more. The minute they came on, basked in red light, four individuals, their guitars siloheted in the smoke, I knew it was going to be special. The main reason for this was the fact that they played the majority of the songs from this album. This album is different to their others (all of which I now own as indebtitude to this release) inasmuch that it is softer, more textured. It builds slowly, more slower than other albums and therefore more rewarding. You find yourself waiting longer for the inevitable crescendos therefore when they do eventually come you feel like youve earned it and appreciate it more. Dont get me wrong, this album is aggressive but more sparsely so. I blew off a lot of steam at that performance in Denmark, at one point during an endorphine hazed climax I just yelled for two minutes. At the end of the gig I just stood and stared, dumbstruck. On my return I immediately bought this album and I still lie down in bed in complete darkness listening to 'Dim' just build and build and build, layer after layer, until it finally explodes and wonder if I will ever hear a better song. Needless to say, if you like aggressive but melodic metal, or even post-rock, then you need to listen to this essential album.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Suspenseful., 31 Mar 2009
By 
S. Davitt (Kent, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Somewhere Along The Highway (Audio CD)
And the award for most evolved Cult Of Luna record goes to? That's right! `Somewhere Along The Highway'. The first few attempts at perfection were just short, in my humble opinion, but this effort is as close to perfection as the Swedish act have ever managed to achieve, both past and present. Perhaps it's the closest record to perfection they are ever likely to achieve as a band, hence the decreased opinion of the latest effort, `Eternal Kingdom' which wasn't bad, by any means, it just wasn't `Somewhere Along The Highway'. There are several reasons as to why the average rating for this record stands at a staggering 98% from 4 reviews and to be honest, it`s justified. One may wonder whether the hype of this record will eventually lead to the downfall of it's overall opinion in the eyes of the public, but since it's arrival on to our scenes, the work behind this particular effort still doesn't go unnoticed and the hype hasn't managed to bring on it's fall from grace which could have been seen as imminent. The contributing factors as to why this record has lasted as a top contender to best record of not only 2006 but also from a band of this multi-cultural nature, in terms of genre hybrids, will be discussed in this review.

`Salvation', in particular, managed to draw upon a sound which bridged the gap between the more aggressive Cult Of Luna sound, which was dominated by one of the layered guitars and the snapping snare attacks which generate a lot of angst, and the more charismatic sound in the form of the subtle works of the bass and second guitar, which produced mainly clean riffs of a stunning nature. The only noticeable difference between this effort and the last is the fact that the sound that was achieved on `Salvation' is now bigger, brighter and more action packed with material for audiences of all varieties. The major positive is the fact that this record can and does appeal to fans of varying genres and sub-genres because it has a seemingly unlimited source of tricks up it's sleeve. From the bone crunching guitars, to the subtle influence of the bass in solidifying the soundscapes, there are elements of this record which can and do appeal to fans of all metal genres and even those whom don't particularly like metal all that much. I've heard of country fans who like Cult Of Luna which, with their Neurosis influenced sound, is a massive plaudit. Lyrically, Cult Of Luna are as tight as ever, which `Dim' in particular seems to suggest also.

"From the skyline dark clouds move in. They shroud me with her cold cover.
Eyes like daggers puncture the skin. Isolated in a room with no others.
Where do I turn when all hope is lost? Where do I find forgiveness?
My search for salvation has begun. To find a place where our hearts beat as one."

To me, the simple factor of limiting themselves to less songs than usual has enhanced the performance of each member on the record. The fact that there are only 7 songs, in comparison to the self-titled records 10, makes a huge difference. The song writing has, of course, steadily improved as Cult Of Luna have matured into their enormous sound. Due to the aforementioned fact of having less songs to focus on, the efforts of the bands members has vastly improved, making each individual song on the record much more noteworthy than most that have gone before it. Take songs like `Back To Chapel Town' with it's emotively inspired layered guitars which produce distinctive feelings of pain, regret and sadness. The collective emotions flow like a river into the hearts of the audience and causes an emotional rising from within, increasing the appeal of the songs in an individual sense. In some ways, Cult Of Luna remind me of the way in which Isis can so effortlessly change the emotions of the listener, swinging from the aggressive side of the spectrum by using fast and impacting double bass which leans towards the roots of the band, to the more melancholic sound that rises from the ashes like a phoenix due to the use of stunningly high pitched riffs and a bass section which underlines the dark and brooding nature of the record. As well as this, the usual keyboard/programming affect on the soundscapes is to be felt as this element of Cult Of Luna offers something different to the mixture, something entrancing.

Whichever way this Swedish band choose to portray their lyrical themes, which are just as strong as ever, they do it in such a way that it seems more affective than the last effort. Vocally, I've never been too impressed with Cult Of Luna, but the vocals are what one would expect them to be due to the very nature of the genres they choose to hybrid. The sludge influence is distinctive in terms of the production, which can be thick at times due to the increased influence of the bass on the ground work of the record. The sludge influence also dictates how the vocals are to be used and, in terms of sludge vocals in general, these which are provided by Cult Of Luna are at least consistent although not as accessible or mood altering as clean vocals tend to be. The aggressive impact that Cult Of Luna has is altered in a positive sense by the vocals at least, which is seemingly what the job of the vocals is. Considering the vocals have become more and more sparse over the years, this shows a willingness in Cult Of Luna, as well as the endless capabilities, and an increased sense of what sounds better to the listener to omit certain aspects of the music which might detract from specific moods. For example, `Dim', when the slower, more progressionist style of Cult Of Luna comes to the foreground with tight cymbal work and fantastic layered guitars, the vocals would merely serve to get in the way of this luxurious sound, but seeming as the vocals don't come into play at this time, this indicates an improved sense of song structures. One must mention the impact of the bass in `Dim', which is some of the best work I've seen on bass in my metal lifetime. Along with the catchy drum patterns, this song stands up as one of the best Cult Of Luna songs so far Immense.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very special indeed., 27 Sep 2007
By 
To put it simply, to not buy this album is a serious mistake. It is an incredible journey with a vast range of emotions and thought provoking moments. It is a piece of art. I live in north Wales and as i walked along a vast, empty beach listening to the song dark city, dead man; i looked up at the moon and felt that i was going to explode. This album like many great albums by Tool, Isis, Mono, Deftones, gave me one simple message- YOU are alive! There are not many bands that can do that, to make you feel like your heart will erupt from volcanic emotion. People, this album is £5 second hand and i would gladly pay £100 for it. So what are you waiting for? Go and inhanse your life and stay away from James blunt and Oasis before we all perish!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of last years best!, 7 Mar 2007
By 
Bram (North East England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Somewhere Along The Highway (Audio CD)
I bought this because I like Isis and heard favourable things about them. At first I had trouble with the vocals (rasping distorted death esque) but got hooked by the music straight off. Some tracks clock in at 10 and 15 mins long but how I wish they would go on!

It does have traits familiar to other artists who tread the same musical ground but COL have enough passion and muscle to make them stand apart from their contemporaires. This is Dark hypnotic stuff which for me fills the void between early Entombed and Interpol. Strange but true.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars More of the same will do nicely thank you., 2 Jun 2006
This review is from: Somewhere Along The Highway (Audio CD)
`Somewhere Along the Highway' sees Cult of Luna consolidating their position as one the best bands in the epic post-hardcore world. True, there isn't the huge advancement in songwriting that occurred between `The Beyond' and `Salvation', but the latter was such a stunning piece of work it would be nigh on impossible to write an album that would overshadow it completely. Instead, Cult of Luna play to their strengths and add a few new tricks into the mix to give `Somewhere...' its own identity. The most noticeable difference is the much rawer sounding production, which gives the album a more natural feel. The bulk of the 7 tracks follow the mould already established only earlier albums, but rather than lurching between quiet and loud sections as obviously as on `The Beyond' they have become even more adept at introducing subtle changes in melody during the quieter passages before launching into the ultra heavy segments, which still threaten to remove your major internal organs. This is best illustrated on penultimate track `Dim', which builds in a similar manner to `Waiting for You' from `Salvation' and is probably the best thing they've ever written. The other standout track is `And with Her Came Birds', a short delicate tune with unexpected banjos. Nice. Overall, a very fine album.
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4.0 out of 5 stars This is a title, 30 April 2006
By 
J. Flitcroft (England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Somewhere Along The Highway (Audio CD)
It was going to be some act to follow 'Salvation' and this latest album is not far off that accolade. Wonderfully slow and heavy music that explodes into NOISE!! It's getting better every time I listen to it. Another hard 'n' heavy masterpiece from the Swedish lads who keep on releasing quality music.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Goodness me., 15 Sep 2010
By 
P. S. W. Walker "Metal Mickey" (Lincolnshire, arr) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Somewhere Along The Highway (Audio CD)
Blimey. Evocative and bleak. CoL have managed to produce a haunting album that leaves you feeling lonely and isolated, but funnily at peace with it. A bit of a change of sound as there is far less deathy vocals and much more clean work, but the album benefits as a result. This is heavy not because it grinds or makes you headbang but because it stops you dead and makes you think, hard. You'll feel cleaner after listening, I promise: it's aural therapy! Necessary for nights spent staring at the ceiling whilst the sun hides behind the horizon.
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