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Cult of Luna: The Raging River

It’s fair to say that The Raging River is a bit of a misnomer here because the band really sees this as a bridge they need to cross before heading in another direction. Maybe there’s a river raging beneath the bridge, but let’s not overthink things. The music here largely connects to the band’s last release, A Dawn to Fear (2019) and so fans of the album should definitely feel at home with the band’s enduring sludgy and emotional brand of post-metal. Things start out with the calm opening to “Three Bridges,” a calm that is soon interrupted by Johannes Persson’s deep and emotional growl. The song works because it is less a frontal assault and more of an invitation to reflect that persists even as things turn heavy. “What I Leave Behind” has a heavier start built around a solid riff. It has an angry quality to it but takes a few breaths in the middle.

There aren’t many surprises here, but I think most fans of the band will enjoy what they hear. The band has been fairly consistent over the years and they definitely have a loyal fanbase. What made this release really stand out to me was “Inside of a Dream” which features Mark Lanegan (ex-Queens of the Stone Age, Screaming Trees) on vocals. As it happens, Cult of Luna wanted Lanegan to sing on “And With Her Came the Birds” all the way back in 2005, but they didn’t ask him. This time, they contacted him and he recorded the vocals right away. He sounds great. Fans of “And With Her Came the Birds” will find some similarities between the two songs, but this one is a bit more soulful and a bit more melancholy. Lanegan was definitely the right pick for the vocals on this one. His voice is heartfelt and sad, and the band wisely backs off enough to let the vocals really stand out.

After “Inside of a Dream,” the band turns to “I Remember” and “Wave after Wave.” They’re both good tracks, but like other people have suggested, they aren’t quite as engaging as the other tracks. “Wave after Wave,” the longest track, definitely suffers from an extended build up that never completely goes anywhere. Stick with “Three Bridges” or “Inside of a Dream.”

Track Listing:
1. Three Bridges
2. What I Leave Behind
3. Inside of a Dream (feat. Mark Lanegan)
4. I Remember
5. Wave After Wave

Added: February 18th 2021
Reviewer: Carl Sederholm
Related Link: Band Website
Hits: 426
Language: english

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