Cult Of Luna – ‘A Dawn To Fear’

By Liam Knowles

For those of you who are already fans of post-metal, Cult Of Luna need no introduction. The Swedish sextet have been making their sprawling noise since the late 90s and are yet to release an album that isn’t innovative and challenging in its own way. Their impact and influence cannot be denied, and their scene would be a completely different landscape without them. ‘A Dawn To Fear’ continues down that unwavering path of excellence, cementing Cult Of Luna as one of the key pillars of their genre, and of extreme music in general.

Post-metal has many trappings, which isn’t always a bad thing, but it does mean that some things are a given with an album like this. You don’t need anyone to tell you how dense it is or how vast it is in scale, or that it’s full of multi-faceted, textured riffs and emotionally devastating crescendos, or how hypnotic it is rhythmically. Those are all things that help make ‘A Dawn To Fear’ the fantastic album it is, with tracks like ‘The Silent Man’ and ‘Lay Your Head To Rest’ being among the finest material the band has ever created – but it’s the subtle nuances that make this release truly special.

The additional twinkling percussion on top of the standard drums adds a layer of ethereal beauty atop the brutality, whilst the keyboards pack out the sound so that when everything hits at once, it hits like a freight train. The band also aren’t afraid to experiment with their influences, whether it’s the almost disco-like drumming on ‘Nightwalkers’, or the disembodied, synthesised vocals on ‘We Feel The End’, a track that feels reminiscent of ‘Happy Songs For Happy People’-era Mogwai. One thing you could never accuse Cult Of Luna of is resting on their laurels or playing it safe.

‘A Dawn To Fear’ is the perfect next installment in an already stellar discography, and a must-listen for all fans of extreme music. 2019 has already seen amazing releases from the band’s peers, like Pelican and Russian Circles – but if you only listen to one post-metal album this year, it should be this one.

LIAM KNOWLES

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