The follow-up to A Dawn To Fear (2019) is a thirty-eight minute EP that is in many ways a continuation of that music.
Twenty years in and Cult of Luna is getting more confident and accomplished with every passing annum. The band from Umeå, Sweden has released seven full-length albums, many live records, splits, singles, and EPs – the enormity of their catalogue is imposing. Their stylistic orientation is a progressive advance, a sort of post-hardcore, post-metal that is genuinely more of a brew than a mixture, giving them the opportunity to expand and contract at will. The Metal Archives lists the current band members as Johannes Persson (vocals and guitar), Magnus Lindberg (guitar and percussion), Fredrik Kihlberg (guitar and vocals), Andreas Johansson (bass), Kristian Karlsson (keys and vocals), and Thomas Hedlund (drums).
There are five songs on The Raging River, three of which run over eight minutes. “Three Bridges” breaks the ice with four descending, forlorn, echoing notes, repeated into the air until an industrial clanging beats in, joined by allied and opposing instruments in due course. The vocal lands in a strained ravening. The elements that might seem discordant, alien to each other form a collective meaning when brought expertly together in willful composition. “What I Leave Behind” runs like a second movement to the first song, and the soft vocals of the bridge piece, “Inside of a Dream,” reminds us of the beauty and the sadness in the world.
“I Remember” and “Wave After Wave” are the joint anchors, and they lead off with a towering wall of sound that pushes you back and makes you vulnerable to the vocal instrument that arrives just after. More ponderous and menacing now, the music is an effective deliverance of the heartfelt description from the beginning of the set. Powerful and recalcitrant in the sense of follow-through, the music reveals to you the weight of your own mind through example. Meaning that is unique to you emerges from the music as you listen.
The album is out now. There are many vinyl options to choose from – or at least there used to be, as they are selling briskly. There is always the download option if you missed out on the physical. Recommended.
Red Creek, https://red-crk.com/