Cult of Luna has a new fan. Unquestionably.
I have always wanted to check this band out, and what a better way than a live show. That is how someone can really understand who a band is, and what they are all about. A studio album can tell you how a band sounds, but a live show will expose the band’s soul. Take a band of epic proportions, and put them right in the friendly and cozy confines of your own living room. And make no mistake, that is who Cult of Luna are: They’re epic, intimate, larger than life, personal. This band transcends, by defining both infinite bigness and smallness at the same time. The art direction, camera work and editing on this DVD does the band justice and broadcasts them in all their glory. With the multiple HD cameras set up around the venue, we are on stage with the band and it feels like we could almost touch the drums. We are inside of the crowd and can witness the awesome light show (and when I say awesome, I mean awesome!!!!). We are given an all-access pass to the performance in ‘Years In A Day’.
So who are Cult of Luna? Atmospheric Sludge? Cerebral Doom? Post Metal? Some art project? A quick trip to the Swedish band’s wikipedia will give you the immediate comparisons; Isis and Neurosis. The band will even tell you Radiohead is an influence. With this type of pedigree, the sound better be phenomenal, and it is. The sound and video quality are superb on this DVD.
What COL do expertly, is marry the beautiful with the ugly. They build tension between sweeping periods of space. They are built on patience, and can establish anxiety in a moving and elegant way, ultimately reaching a cascading climax for each song. Everything is an evolution. You can hear and feel everything immaculately. The crushing riffs, the tasteful synths and the delicate delayed guitars. If you were to remove the impressive visuals of this DVD you would still have a fantastic mix.
Filmed in Paris in 2016, the viewer is given a full two-hour journey to experience. The run-time seemed daunting at first, but literally after the musical intro, you are completely mesmerized, perhaps even hypnotized, by the music and the lights. A band like COL thrives on a patient and thought-out approach. Everything is carefully and meticulously crafted and serves a purpose. An hour just isn’t enough time, and even after two, most people will want more. The band does not stop from the first note to the last. There is no onstage banter, there are no introductions. They let the music speak for itself. As a song concludes, the band graciously accepts the audience’s appreciation, and flawlessly begins the next selection. As a home viewer (and as a new fan) I would have appreciated the titles of each song being listed on screen as each piece started, but that is the only minor takeaway I have from this amazing piece of art.
It contains material from the bands output from 2004-2013 (excluding songs from the releases ‘Cult of Luna’ and ‘The Beyond’) Also absent are selections from their latest album ‘Mariner’, but seeing as that was a collaboration with American vocalist Julie Christmas, it’s understandable.