Cult of Luna is a Swedish post-metal band from Umeå. They formed from the remnants of the hardcore punk band called Eclipse in 1998.
Cult of Luna’s sound has progressed from material that was strongly influenced by doom metal, to a much less aggressive and more interesting orchestrated variant. Fans and critics have termed this sound ‘post-metal.’ The band is considered to be at the forefront of the genre, along with contemporary proponents such as Neurosis and Isis.
‘Vertikal’ is the much-anticipated new studio album from Cult of Luna, released via Indie Recordings in January 2013. Distilled throughout are themes of machinery, repetition and clear, linear structures honed to the visual imagery of Fritz Lang’s classic expressionist science-fiction film ‘Metropolis’. The music broods, builds and boils as you may expect from Cult of Luna, but never veers from its intentions; It is arguably their finest and most cohesive piece of work to date.
“I: The Weapon” – the first single from Cult Of Luna’s new album “Vertikal” is now available for online streaming via soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/indierecordings/cult-of-luna-i-the-weapon
“I: The Weapon” from the album ‘Vertikal’ charges in like a thousand hand-cranked machines. Golden scimitars of light flash across the sudden conflagration that’s been created. A buzzing guitar squirms and drills deep. It rears like a twisting python, and contorts itself around the neck of the song. Spiralling and turning in symbiotic rage. Solid percussion flies unfettered. All this seems to adorns the gruelling, grumbling hardcore roars that blaze. The clamouring unchained bass, and the rabid growling keyboards, all add to the luxuriant mechanical insanity of this epic piece. It is haunting and noble. And unforgettable.
“Vertikal” was released January 29th.
Our Grand Inquisitor had the opportunity to have a quiet chat with Thomas Hedlund (drums) from Cult of Luna – about the commitment of the band to the religion of metal and about creating their new masterpiece – the ‘Vertikal’ studio album.
METAL AS RELIGION: So your ‘Vertikal’ tour shows are already sold out in London and Paris. What does that mean to you?
Cult of Luna: It’s obviously an amazing feeling. We’re grateful that so many people are willing to take time out of their lives to come to our shows. Paris and London are such great cities, so we’re going to have a blast.
METAL AS RELIGION: “Vertikal” is your first studio album since 2008’s ‘Eternal Kingdom’ – It has taken all of five years to conceive and create this project … did you have any inkling that “Vertikal” would take this long?
Cult of Luna: Well, yes and no. We felt no rush whatsoever, we wanted the album to grow in its own pace, letting each phase take its time. It was important for us to be completely satisfied when we were done, and not rushing things was crucial from this aspect. And to add to the artistic reasons, there’s also logistic ones. We don’t live in the same city any more, and can’t rehearse as much as we used to. So we gather a few days here and there, and work hard. It was actually a good way of working, since it gave the days when we met a crystal clear focus.
METAL AS RELIGION: “Vertikal” is your sixth album – does it get any easier?
Cult of Luna: It does get easier. We know each other so well now. Everyone knows what obstacles we usually stumble upon, so we can help each other in the struggle. We’ve gotten more and more curious, and open to sources of inspiration not usually linked with metal music. That is one of our greatest strengths aesthetically.
METAL AS RELIGION: How did you think the central concepts of Fritz Lang’s ‘Metropolis’ ( the inspiration for ‘Vertikal’ ?) are relevant today?
Cult of Luna: It poses a lot of questions around humans as part of a big machinery. That feels relevant to us. People have almost lost, or been robbed of really, their ability to dream. We have to believe that things can change. That there’s not only one way to do things.
METAL AS RELIGION: We understand that you worked with Måns Lundberg (producer for Deportees ) on the Vertikal’ album? How did that work out for you? What did he bring to the project?
Cult of Luna: Yes, we brought him along to help us out with some of the guitar sounds. He comes from a different background and could bring another perspective, both on sounds and the playing itself.
METAL AS RELIGION: How do you think “Vertikal” compares with your other “masterpiece” ‘Salvation’ (2004) ? How has CoL grown since 2004?
Cult of Luna: I would say that it’s both more intricate and [more] direct at the same time. We’ve just gotten better at what we’re doing. We’ve gone through a lot as friends and band mates, it’s hard to pinpoint in which ways we’ve grown. We just know that we have. Thank you for calling it a masterpiece by the way, it’s very kind of you.
METAL AS RELIGION: The line-up of CoL is huge – 7 musicians – including two percussionists … will you be touring and gigging with the full band? How important is it for you to re-create the recorded sound accurately on stage?
Cult of Luna: We’ll do this first part of the tour with everyone, except for Anders who won’t be touring with us at all. Christian Karlsson is replacing him live. For the rest of the tour, we’ll try to [include] everyone as much as possible. We did the album as a studio album, trying to make it everything we wanted it to be, and not thinking about the live part too much. But now we’re obviously trying to do the songs justice live too, which is a fun and inspiring challenge.
METAL AS RELIGION: It must be hard to organise seven musicians – the logistics must be a nightmare.
Cult of Luna: It’s not that bad actually. We’re all dedicated to this, and we make it work between all the other things that our lives [revolve] around. We’ve found a way to make our differences one of our greatest strengths as a band.
Thank you, Cult of Luna
Cult of Luna Live Dates:
2nd – Helsinki, Nosturi
18th – Gothenburg, Pustervik
20th – Tilburg, Roadburn Festival
22nd – Fribourg, Fri-Son
23rd – Mezzago, Bloom
24th – Rome, Traffic Live Club
25th – Misano Adriatico, Boulevard
26th – Winterthur, Gaswerk
29th – Bucharest, Silver Church
30th – Timisoara, Daos Club
2nd – Innsbruck, P.M.K
3rd – Wroclaw, Asymmetry Festival
5th – Munich, Kranhalle
6th – Stuttgart, Universum
7th – Bielefeld, Forum
8th – Cologne, Gebaude 9