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Music Review

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A Dawn to Fear


Artist: Cult of Luna
Label: Metal Blade
RRP: £13.99
Release Date: 20 September 2019

Metal Blade releases A Dawn to Fear, by Cult of Luna, weighing-in at no less that 79 minutes. They are a Post-Metal band from Sweden, comprising lead songwriter Johannes Persson on vocals and guitar, Gredrik Kihlberg on guitars and vocals, Kristian Karlsson on keyboard and vocals, Andreas Johansson on bass, Magnus Lindberg on drums, and Thomas Hedlund on drums and percussion. They were formed in 1998. This is their eighth full-length album...

'The Silent Man' has a constant solid drum beat, and there’s a heavy but moderate bass sound. The vocals are growled and are mostly incoherent; perhaps they are a little low in the mix. The track has lighter and mystical moments. Generally, it’s a good start. A military beat with reverb guitar serves as an instrumental outro from about halfway through. The vocals re-join briefly at the end. 'Lay Your Head to Rest' encompasses another slow but heavy Doom sound, incorporating a nice repeating drum pattern. 'A Dawn to Fear' has something of the Spaghetti Western incidental music about it; soft and menacing. The vocal style invokes the vision of cult chants. A light keyboard touch introduces the return of the Western sounding guitar. This would work in a Robert Rodriguez movie. The whole thing is at a moderate pace. Much as I like growled vocals it does spoil the atmosphere here. This is one of best of the of the bunch.

'Nightwalkers' has an original start, which opens up a little two minutes in. I’m beginning to notice a pattern here: a Doom standard moderate pace with repeated sequences and slightly different segments which piece the whole together. This has a centrepiece with galloping drums that offer the illusion of a much faster rate. It reigns in at over ten minutes. Enjoyable non-distracting music. 'Lights on the Hill' introduces a four-note guitar sequence which is somewhat eerie. However, we have to wait three minutes for a semblance of life to be breathed into this track. The main theme is good enough, but at fifteen minutes long it’s far too long and much too repetitive.

'We Feel the End' is more contemplative, with atmosphere and poignancy. There are no growled vocals; just melancholic clean sounds. This is very nice, if a little long again. 'Inland Rain' begins meditatively but with growled vocals. I love the floating feeling of this one. This album is really coming good late on. It reminds me of the concept album idea, which admittedly sometimes leaves me cold, but here you can relax to with headphones or play as background music. I can’t imagine anyone leaping around down the front at a live gig; it just isn’t that sort of music. 'The Fall' wraps things up with a similar guitar sound as on 'A Dawn to Fear'. This is another mega track at over 13 minutes. It’s very nice in its riffs and soundscapes and, unlike a couple of the other lengthy examples, doesn’t outstay its welcome.

I think this album has a lot to offer, but is perhaps a little imbalanced. I believe if 'We Feel the End' had kicked off the proceedings, followed by 'Inland Rain', 'The Fall', and the title track of 'A Dawn to Fear' – then this would enable the listener to feel their way into the package. Nevertheless, a very solid release.


Ty Power

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