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Cult Of Luna Eternal Kingdom

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Cult Of Luna - Eternal Kingdom
01. Owlwood
02. Eternal Kingdom
03. Ghost Trail
04. The Lure (Interlude)
05. Mire Deep
06. The Great Migration
07. Osterbotten
08. Curse
09. Ugin
10. Following Betulas
2008 Earache Records

OUR SCORE
9
USER SCORE
-
Reviewed by: Nick   //   Published: 8/23/2008

Sweden's Cult of Luna inadvertently brought lofty future expectations upon themselves with the release of 2006's highly praised Somewhere Along the Highway. That record, a mandatory staple of the post-metal listener's diet, succeeded due to an inventive mix of pristine instrumentally driven songwriting and an unparalleled understanding of fluid transitions between crushing and subtle. Fast forward two years and they've found themselves with the arduous task of delivering a follow-up to a career-defining release. And the result is as undeniably cut and dry as the subjective world of musical criticism could allow: Eternal Kingdom is a masterpiece.

But it's not just a masterpiece. It's an immaculate lesson for a congested lecture hall of young, wide-eyed post-metal acts. The album opener, "Owlwood," begins the tutorial as it immediately locks into a mid-tempo groove rooted in low end with warm bass progressions and anchored rhythmically by crisp precise drumming. Faint atmospherics achieve a broad soundscape feel, slowly developing a dark mood as the track barrels toward a rewarding metallic peak. Cult of Luna continues to offer clinics in such areas as Space Utilization Through Staccato Rhythms (see "Eternal Kingdom"), Melodic Layering of Soaring Guitar Leads (see "Ghost Trail"), Innovative But Complementary Use of Electronics (see "Mire Deep"), and The Crafting of a Triumphant Musical Climax Through the Implementation of Auxiliary Elements Such As Horns (see "Following Betulas").

And as if great musical execution and achievement wasn't enough, Eternal Kingdom brings yet another defining characteristic to the table in the shape of a brilliant conceptual theme. The record was written to depict the fantasy world developed by Holger Nilsson, an unstable patient held in a Swedish mental hospital in the 1920s for murdering his wife. The band had used the old building as a practice space and discovered Nilsson's forgotten journals upon cleaning out their rehearsal room. The ten tracks combine to offer a vivid picture of a unique world of good and evil manifesting itself in a wide range of imaginative characters with a strong mythological feel. The story is too complex to summarize in mere sentences, but the concept behind Eternal Kingdom makes it mandatory to own a tangible copy of the record. And in the age of album leaks and illegal downloading, Cult of Luna has successfully armed themselves with a record that can only be fully appreciated with lyrics and liner notes in hand.

Bottom Line: Those worried about Cult of Luna's seemingly impossible task of following up Somewhere Along the Highway will be instantly silenced with Eternal Kingdom. The album is every bit as vibrant, dynamic, and inventive, and further raises the bar with one of the most intriguing foundations for a concept album in modern music. Eternal Kingdom is without a doubt the post-metal record of the year.

Comments
gannond_   posted 8/31/2008 8:03:03 PM
boring live, boring enough that ill never listen to this
ABC_   posted 8/28/2008 8:26:29 AM
I do really enjoy Cult Of Luna, I only have some of their older albums. I would like to pick up the newer ones. I definitely get around to checking this out.
anonymous   posted 8/27/2008 7:24:38 PM
not a flawless album. not incredible at transitions. stale, played out songwriting methods, and the hype machine strikes again.
Fur_Beach_   posted 8/27/2008 6:29:16 PM
I agree. This album is nearly flawless. My favorite of theirs so far. although Salvation is a close 2nd...
Gluck_Is_A_Faggot_   posted 8/27/2008 11:01:34 AM
When I first heard Salvation, I was instantly hooked. Then Somewhere Along...came out and it took me a while to get into cause I was still on a kick from Salvation. Same thing with Eternal Kingdom, took me a few listens but I can honestly that all 3 albums are on par with each other. Great band!

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