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Cult Of Luna's clobbering drums and shuddering riffs thrill on The Long Road North

The Long Road North features more majestic Scandi Noir anthems from the doom-metal ABBA, Cult Of Luna

Cult Of Luna cover art
(Image: © Metal Blade)

Nordic post-metal pioneers Cult of Luna have expanded their horizons in recent years, working with unlikely collaborators including Mark Lanegan

But the default setting of these thunderous doom-lords from Sweden's far north remains the expansive, melodic, lavishly arranged anthem densely layered with clobbering drums and shuddering riffs. Indeed, four or five tracks on this ninth album nudge at the 10-minute barrier and beyond. 

Guests include Marian Wallentin of Swedish jazz-pop duo Wildbird and Peacedrums, who lends alluringly croaky vocals to the softly glowing Beyond 1, and Canadian film score composer Colin Stetson, who brings cinematic texture to various tracks, notably the 13-minute symphonic shanty An Offering to the Wild

Lanegan is not featured this time, although singer Johannes Persson seems to be channelling his grainy, soul-weary voice on Into The Night, a sumptuous slow-burn power ballad that proves to be not just an album highlight but one of the best things Cult Of Luna have ever recorded. 

Stephen Dalton has been writing about all things rock for more than 30 years, starting in the late Eighties at the New Musical Express (RIP) when it was still an annoyingly pompous analogue weekly paper printed on dead trees and sold in actual physical shops. For the last decade or so he has been a regular contributor to Classic Rock magazine. He has also written about music and film for Uncut, Vox, Prog, The Quietus, Electronic Sound, Rolling Stone, The Times, The London Evening Standard, Wallpaper, The Film Verdict, Sight and Sound, The Hollywood Reporter and others, including some even more disreputable publications.