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HARDWARES

CULT OF LUNA

Vertikal II

(Indie)

Reviewed by : David Perri
Rating : 9.0

In the strictest of terms, Vertikal II isn’t truly a sequel to its predecessor, Vertikal, which appeared earlier this year. The 36 minutes of dystopia that comprise Vertikal II were actually written during the Vertikal sessions, but this latest record was released separately in an alpha-and-omega move the brings CULT OF LUNA’s 2013 output to a full circle, literally. Exploring the same themes of urban alienation as Vertikal did, Vertikal II is poisoned porcelain, an effort that reflects both the unperceived oppression of rat races, but also the exhaustion of the easy life that those mazes afford (as DARKTHRONE’ Fenriz has alluded to in public spaces). Vertikal reached new plateaus not only for the already highly regarded Cult Of Luna but for post-metal in general, as the rote repetition of so many shoegazes we’ve been asked to endure was instead replaced by an album that actually felt and felt genuinely, Vertikal an adept summation of what is possible when alienation and song-writing (and editing!) acumen meet. Vertikal II follows the footsteps of its older sibling and continues Cult Of Luna’s ascendance to post-metal’s throne of the galvanized, this Swedish band having accomplished what 99 percent of its post-metal peers are unable to: an engaging LP. Vertikal II is a record that is unafraid to aspire to its intended places, and when those themes revolve around the human condition, that means we’re talking in epic proportions, indeed. Vertikal and Vertikal II stand as experiments in sound , but also as evidence of life, living, lives led and lives to be led, and while, anecdotally, Vertikal came to me in periods of intensity marked by grief, Vertikal II arrives in periods of intensity marked by cautious optimism (we can only hope). Long live the human condition. With an emphasis on ‘live’.



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