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Cult of Luna - Somewhere Along the Highway

Discussion in 'Metal Reviews' started by Rodrigo, Nov 25, 2006.

  1. Rodrigo

    Rodrigo Heat in 7

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    Cult of Luna – Somewhere Along the Highway
    Earache Records – MOSH344 – June 27, 2006
    By Rodrigo Escandon

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    Every once in a while there comes an album that truly connects with me in such a personal way that words can’t do it justice. Somewhere Along the Highway is an album that just seems to “speak” to me. It’s more than the music, it’s more than the lyrics and it really is how it makes me feel and how I am able to relate to it. The last albums where I had similar reactions to were The Mantle and a A Fine Day to Exit and it truly is an amazing feeling when this happens.

    The songs of Somewhere Along the Highway really represent the meaning of the title rather well. While there are plenty of moments of dense and heavy riffs, plodding bass, powerful drumming and screaming the overall feeling of this album is one of open, spacious and lonely soundscapes. With the exception of “Marching to the Heartbeats”, the slow album opener with simple clean singing, a distorted guitar melody line and synthesizers in the background to add atmosphere, and “And With Her Came the Birds”, a country-styled, minimalistic and extremely dark song, the rest of the songs weave in and out from the heavy to the clean seamlessly.

    “Finland” gets started with very powerful drumming that sound almost machine-like, almost as if the engine is getting warmed up to start the journey but then almost without warning the clean and melancholic section will draw you in. “Back to Chapel Town” starts with about 2 minutes of distorted guitars strummed slowly, then the drums kick in at the same pace until everything just speeds up, gets heavier and the harsh screaming comes in. “Thirtyfour” is another monumental effort by Cult of Luna and beginning at 5:23 it quite possibly features some of the best percussion beats I have recently heard. Together with the melody lines and subtle singing this section is just mesmerizing.

    However, as good as this album has been up to this moment, nothing will prepare you for the sheer brilliance of the album’s last 2 songs, “Dim” and “Dark City, Dead Man”. “Dim” really carries the open, spacious and lonely feelings better than any other song in the album. The drumming is amazing, the guitar melodies are truly beautiful and when the singing jumps in at the climax everything just wraps up perfectly. One can make the easy conclusion that this is Cult of Luna’s best song until you hear “Dark City, Dead Man”. This mammoth epic begins with programmed drums with more of the usual great guitar melodies. The pace begins to slowly pick up when the real drums kick in and soon the heavy guitars and screaming show up and another musical journey continues filled with different textures and melodies. The truly haunting section starts at 7:36 where the song features dreary and spacey atmospherics, tight percussion and a haunting main melody. From this moment the song just continues to build from this idea into a massive wall of sound. At almost 16 minutes, “Dark City, Dead Man” is Cult of Luna’s longest song, easily the best song they have ever penned and without a doubt the best song of the year, nothing comes close.

    Somewhere Along the Highway is the soundtrack for a lonely journey through wide-open spaces but despite all the inclinations of sadness and darkness that the music and lyrics convey, I get a distinct feeling of hope and a healthy introspective look at oneself. This is truly a monumental achievement from an extremely talented band and one that should not be missed.

    9.5/10

    UM’s Review Rating Scale

    Cult of Luna Official Website
    Earache Records Official Website
     
  2. Scourge of Malice

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    Great review man, this album is amazing. I really haven't been listening to it enough lately, but you inspired me to put it on again. "Dark City, Dead Man" is definitely one of the top tracks of the year for me.
     
  3. Shadow298

    Shadow298 UNLEASH THE GUAN

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    How does it compare against Cult Of Luna's album, Salvation?
     
  4. Scourge of Malice

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    I think its a lot better personally. Just seems like they really achieved what they were trying to pull off with Salvation. Also seems a lot more natural, which makes sense cause most of it was recorded live.
     
  5. circus_brimstone

    circus_brimstone Forest: Sold Out

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    I wrote a very brief write-up for this album a while back, and though I don't feel I need to take back anything I said, I must admit that this grew on me immensely and is now one of my favorites of the year.
     

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