Goth metal may once have been a term of opprobrium -- but then again who knows? Whatever the case, it makes perfect sense with time, even if Black Sabbath already laid down the blueprint years ago, and that's one reason why Cult of Luna's second album, The Beyond, is so astoundingly great. One of Earache's many signings from Scandinavia over the moons, the band has the primal doom-laden punch of groups like the Cure and the God Machine going into their sound, tempered with the hoarse, wide-eyed vocals of Klas Rydberg. If some of his lyrics are merely standard tropes for the field, he never lets the band down at any point, and, if anything, holds back from singing most of the time to let the music make whatever point it needs to. Meanwhile, the steady deliberation of the rhythm section does the whole death-march-trudge thing pretty darn well. The secret weapon would appear to be Magnus Lindberg -- credited with sound engineering, he's not instantly apparent anywhere, but there's a strong sense of layering and depth at many points, almost as if the band were recording in a collapsing factory. Engineer Pelle Henricsson, veteran of working with bands from Refused to Meshuggah and the Hives, brings a crisply brutal focus to the proceedings. The occasional twist on the overall sound -- the mournful steel guitar twang that helps start off "Circle" on a very quiet note, which then mutates into an equally sad solo cutting through the full-on band crunch, or the subtle rise-and-fall arrangement that turns "Arrival" into the album's surprisingly beautiful heart -- makes everything all that more noteworthy.
Performance CreditsCult of Luna Primary Artist
Jonas Rosén Vocals
Thomas Hedlund Percussion
Ola Klüft Vocals
Andreas "Diaz" Pettersson Pedal Steel Guitar
Technical CreditsPelle Henricsson Producer
Andreas Johansson Contributor
Cult of Luna Arranger,Composer,Producer
Klas Rydberg Contributor
Johannes Persson Contributor
Marco Hilden Contributor
Erik Olofsson Contributor
Magnus Lindberg Producer,Engineer
The Beyond based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
As a fan of metal music, I may be a bit biased on the subject. This does not stop me from wanting to recommend this album to every fan of metal I know. This band is, to put it simple, brutal. They write some of the heaviest, thickest music I've ever heard, music that I literally had to stop what I was doing and listen to. There is suck fury behind the intense guitar, such unbridled rage behind the deep, sludge encased bass, such intensity in the desperate roar of the vocalist. To be honest, I cannot in good conscience recommend this album to non-metal fans, this would not be a good first foray into the dark world of heavy metal. For metal fans, I can say only this. GET THIS ALBUM.