Swedish post-metal legends Cult Of Luna have described their new EP The Raging River as “a bridge to be crossed, a midpoint to continue what we started with on A Dawn To Fear” and on the evidence of the five tracks on offer here, that statement certainly rings true. Indeed, The Raging River packs the same emotional gut punch as the aforementioned album, and only adds to further cement their place as one of the world’s finest metal bands, regardless of genre.
Opening track ‘Three Bridges’ certainly feels as if it could be lifted from A Dawn To Fear. Beginning softly, it soon builds into something monstrous, swelling with potent energy as the unmistakable, impassioned vocals of Johannes Persson are bolstered by pulsating riffs and a gnawing, hypnotic rhythm. ‘What I Leave Behind’ is a juggernaut of similar heft, pulled along by a tectonic plate-shifting bass undertow as wall-of-sound riffs cascade down. Providing a gentle detour midway through the EP, the reverie ‘Inside Of A dream’ is notable for featuring legendary songwriter/ex-Screaming Trees frontman Mark Lanegan. By far the gentlest moment of the EP, it offers a disarmingly soothing passageway through to the final two devastating tracks; the hauntingly bleak ‘I Remember’ and the closing twelve minute masterpiece that is the colossal ‘Wave After Wave’.
If you’re already a Cult Of Luna fan, it’s a foregone conclusion that you’ll be buying this EP and the five tracks here are as vital as anything in their already stellar back catalogue. If, however, you’re new to them, The Raging River could serve as the perfect first step to one epic journey of musical discovery.
The Raging River is out 5th February via Red Creek and can be purchased here.
Words: Adam Pegg