Cult of Luna

Salvation

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    9
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For their third album, Swedish prog metal stalwarts Cult of Luna added a seventh member, Anders Teglund, a second keyboardist who concentrates on samples and effects. Teglund largely keeps to the background for most of Salvation, however. Don't worry, they haven't turned into Skinny Puppy or anything. Indeed, Salvation is perhaps Cult of Luna's most accomplished and strongest album yet. The sense of dynamics that's been the band's strong suit all along is on full display here, with most of these eight lengthy songs (none under five minutes, and half over ten) featuring long passages of sparse, quiet music that at times are genuinely rather pretty. The near-ambient opening section of "Echoes" might even remind listeners of the Pink Floyd epic of the same title, and the closing track, "Into the Beyond," has a fluid, bass-led section that recalls some of Can's later work. These moments of musical respite only increase the power of the full-on metal onslaughts when they come in. Where many similar albums become numbing after a while, Salvation is strong without being bludgeoning.

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