Alright, guys, it’s time for us to talk about the importance of Cult of Luna. Yeah, that underappreciated Swedish unit that has delivered a consistent series of music both brutal and majestic since 2001’s self-titled effort. Okay, so maybe you arrived late to the party and missed the early portion, but you did catch their mindfuck crossover with Julie Christmas, Mariner, right? No? Well, A Dawn to Fear (Metal Blade) is as good as an entry point as you’re going to get.
Not that this is a spoiler, but this review ends with a positive score. Great, let’s proceed.
Yes, Tool‘s Fear Inoculum is the talk of the metal and hard rock town these days so bear with me as we’re going to be using that album as a comparison point. Think of A Dawn to Fear as the underground’s formal response to Tool’s latest opus. Much like Fear Inoculum, A Dawn to Fear has something to get of its chest and it’ll take as long as it pleases so take a seat.
At first the galloping beats and structure of ‘The Silent Man’ crash violently like waves on the Atlantic, but you’re left with a sunny outlook. There’s a positive stride to be found with that forward-moving tempo. But then ‘Lay Your Head to Rest’ starts seeping in Vangelis and Hans Zimmer vibes and you feel like there is uneasiness underneath the grandeur. Sure enough, ‘A Dawn to Fear’ and ‘Nightwalkers’ are here to let you know their haunting beauty has bought you one ticket to hellish introspection town. Let’s be honest, ‘Nightwalkers’ sinks its brooding riffs and pounding beats with so much malice that you’ll mistakenly believe you left Through Silver in Blood spinning on the record player again. It’s the best kind of pain.
Some will argue that Cult of Luna isn’t underappreciated – just look at their critical reception for fuck’s sake – but why aren’t more of the water cooler discussions on the genre not revolving around these dudes? The answer: cowards.
8 / 10