Fri 31st March 2006
The opening chords of 'Marching To The Heartbeats' contain the feeling that something awe inspiring is about to occur and over the next hour it certainly does. 'Somewhere Along the Highway' is the apocalyptic fourth full length from the Swedish group and it is unsurprisingly amazing. I am somewhat biased as Cult of Luna are one of my favourite bands, but the reason for that is they release consistently awesome albums such as this. After the opening track both 'Finland' and 'Back To Chapel Town' are classic COL cuts; hulking behemoths comprised of cascading mega riffs, empowered drumming and the magnificent roaring of Klas. Whilst the use of samplers and synthesisers in the music adds further layers as well as contributing to the orchestral feel of the compositions.
One minute the music is earth shattering noise then the next it becomes a beautiful instrumental passage, this is a natural process, however, and doesn't feel at all contrived to be light/dark or loud/quiet. 'And With Her Came the Birds' shows a more stripped down and experimental COL, acoustic guitars and clean, quiet vocals set the tone which reminds me of The Doors with its calm yet emotional tone. This album is not a massive progression from 'Salvation', however, it is on the same spectacular scale and is COL doing what they do best - belting out monolithic slabs of intensity.