Cult of Luna / The Old Wind – “Råångest”

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Cult of Luna / The Old Wind – “Råångest” split EP (Pelagic Records)

Battle Helm Rating

After the release of their two part concept album Vertikal, I and I I, which was Cult of Luna’s musical take on Fritz Lang’s cult film “Metropolis”, the band embarked on some serious touring before settling down for a well earned rest. Last year they began secretly working on special project due for a 2016 release, and in that studio time decided to do a cover for this split EP in the form of Amebix’s ‘Last Will and Testament’ – no mean feat considering the cult status of these Brit crust punks, who to this very day are revered for their influences on many of today’s bands. Ironically taken from what was to be their last album “Monolith” in 1987, this is a dark, somber track almost perfectly suited to the likes of post metallers Cult of Luna, whose own cacophonous wall of noise adds even more menace to the original track. The vocals have shifted from Rob Miller’s ugly guttural tones (that made Cronos seem like a crooner lol) to being raw n hoarse and less prominent in the mix, while the extra guitars allow for the dark melodies to be more prominent, while the keyboards add even more melancholy to the post punk sound. It all makes for a much fuller, even if more polished and less crust version that keeps to the original song, while having Cult of Luna’s identity on it. The Old Wind comprises members of Breach and The Ocean, although somewhat in a state of flux following vocalist and guitarist Tomas Liljedahl’s move to the US – while the rest of the band remained in Sweden! Nevertheless, last year saw the reunion to record the follow-up to 2013’s “Feast On Your Gone” album, due for a 2016 release. Well, an early taster in the form of ‘Wooden Scythe’ and ‘Daughters Of Cleanse’ doesn’t disappoint in befitting this EP’s translated title of ‘raw anxiety’! Ultra raw, throat abraded screams mixed with icy metallic clanging riffs and a primitive, dull thudding aspect to the drums makes for a harsh sound. Even with a liberal amount of cold melodies and the use of ambient passages doesn’t take away from this being an uncomfortable listen as bleak as the Swedish winter itself!

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