By Christian Decker
Atmospheric metal is by definition an odd and ethereal listening experience. I regret that I only just now discovered Cult of Luna. A Dawn to Fear is absolutely soul-crushing, and pretty much helped fuel my melancholic mood all day. Cult of Luna takes its post-metal prowess to new heights on a different plane of existence than the rest of us. The beauty of this album comes from its simplicity. Although I love technical proficiency, there is also beauty in not playing too many notes and just picking the right ones.
A Dawn To Fear combines the screaming and agony that defines much of atmospheric black metal and combines dreamy guitar riffs with some occasional head banging sections. In some songs, there’s even a little bit of clean singing. The title track is in an almost Gregorian Chant style, which leads into a heavy blood-pumping doomy section. The first two tracks, “The Silent Man” and “Lay Your Head To Rest,” will simultaneously make you want to curl up and die and paradoxically power through the rest of your day. The track “Lights on the Hill” perhaps captures this impossible duality the best with incredible minor key riffs that you really just don’t want to end from start to finish.
Cult of Luna proves here that metal can be an art form and not just gross and disgusting lyrics. There’s something in the pain that you hear in the vocals combined with the atmospheric that just stirs something inside your soul. I can’t wait to hear more.
Rating: 5 Q-Tips
Favorite Track: “Lights on the Hill”