The triumph of quality’s music over garbage seems to continue and especially from the side of Sweden. Umea based Cult Of Luna break the silence of nearly five years since the remarkable 2008 release ”Eternal Kingdom” and offer once again a superb album which is food for thought, fuel for the brain and an extra inner tension to all the senses. It is amazing in such cases how a band doesn’t seem to lose connection with its past and manages to connect it successfully with the present and surely their future. ”Vertikal” is their sixth album and if someone claims it’s also their best, wouldn’t prove himself much of a liar to be honest.

The eight gentlemen created a long lasting album which doesn’t tire the experienced listener, especially if he’s a fan of the band. In case you haven’t encountered Cult Of Luna before, ”Vertikal” is the perfect opportunity for you to enter their minimalistic world and adapt easily to their material. It doesn’t need much to be pointful and also inspiring, the Swedes are both and it’s even more impressive that they do it in a very simple way, few riffs here and there in each track which repeat when necessary and the screams of Klas Rydberg mainly connect you even further to the six long tracks included here.

”Vertikal” is not an album of optimism or full of colours. In addition, it sounds like its simplified but self-explanatory cover. Shades of grey, black and a little white surround this album and its interludes only serve in giving you and the compositions some space to breathe a little and recover from the initial shock of the first listening. While the album grows inside you, such is the growth -which becomes need- in listening to it again. We’re talking about an album which would be in the top place of 2012’s releases next to Amenra‘s ”Mass V”, I guess it’s rather likely to become the best album of 2012, surely it’s the album of January though.

After the short intro of ”The One”, there comes ”I: The Weapon” (quite a title, right?) which slowly embarks you to their ship on the journey to the unknown. Nine and a half minutes later, you feel like you’re bound in chains in order to endure some kind of a ritual, the whole listening of ”Vertikal” that is. The gargantuan ”Vicarious Redemption” is the longest track the band has ever written, close to nineteen minutes. It’s also the most haunting and cleansing one, you cannot escape it and it becomes an addiction. The voice doesn’t enter until the eighth minute, it’s already one of the highlight tracks of 2013 easily.

The amazing duo of ”Synchronicity” (discover how Godflesh still shock the music world) and ”Mute Departure” give its place to the closing tracks ”In Awe Of’‘ (again a great title) and ”Passing Through” which perfectly close the album. Especially the last one seems to be the redemption that heals all possible me(n)tal wounds scarred within you. Silent, peaceful and trippy, it just enables you to close your eyes and once you open them again, you know you found one of these lifetime-companion albums. ”Vertikal” deserves a place among godly albums of the past. Wait a few years and just see it coming first at the current moment.

Track List Line Up
01. The One
02. I: The Weapon
03. Vicarious Redemption
04. The Sweep
05. Synchronicity
06. Mute Departure
07. Disharmonia
08. In Awe Of
09. Passing Through
Johannes Persson – Guitars, Vocals
Magnus Lindberg – Percussion
Klas Rydberg – Vocals
Erik Olofsson – Guitars
Andreas Johansson – Bass
Thomas Hedlund – Drums, Percussion
Anders Teglund – Keyboards, Samples
Fredrik Kihlberg – Guitars, Vocals