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Metal dudes can go out during the day.

Metal dudes can go out during the day.

Due to the potent cocktail of limited funds and an extraordinary liaise faire attitude  I had not ventured to see Cult of Luna, playing Glasgow’s Ivory Blacks, in around 10 years*. Touring on the back of forthcoming release ‘Vertikal’, their 4th album since I last saw them (6th in total). I came to the hypothesis that things would have changed substantially… I was wrong but as it turned out that aint no bad thing**.

Arriving in the densely occupied venue to the sounds of support act Humanfly, me and my partner in crime headed immediately bar wards*** before nestling in between some dashingly tall gentlemen to watch the events on stage. Humanfly were perfectly enjoyable; mashing a mix of metal, prog and alt. rock, which reminded me of Cave-In circa their Jupiter album.

Once the stage had emptied we fuelled up on beer before an endurance test of Adam Richman proportions took to the stage. Her Name is Calla were the next band on, what followed was a lengthy 30 minutes where we were treated to 5 songs that went nowhere. Channelling Radiohead Pablo Honey era if Radiohead had spent all their time at the art school, smoking too much weed, listening to Yes records and coming to the conclusion that violins are fucking rock and can carry a 10 minute rock song****. Yeah, 30 minutes of despair where it seemed that the bright spark idea that long automatically means epic, was unfortunately cunting deluded. To be honest I was more angry with myself… It only dawned on me that I could go out for a cigarette during the 2nd to last song…

Next, thankfully, the overhead lights dimmed to reveal a Michael Mann-esque blue haze stage as the Swedes walked on to the backing of new album opener ‘The One’. Considering that the venue was packed oot I and the good lady were watching a platform of heads moving around with the occasional torso for good measure*****.

This is where the modest but rather exceptional lighting work from the stage came into play. The blue haze was mixed up to compliment the music  which was exemplified as the audience was aurally assaulted by the music whilst simultaneously the same being done by the blinding white lights, working particularly well with ‘Finland’. This gave proceedings an oddly cinematic quality, where you could easily imagine the music being used to soundtrack a silent movie. No surprise then that Fritz Lang’s Metropolis was an influence on the new record ‘Vertikal’.

The evening consisted largely of tracks from this very album. From the sounds of it the band have continued to progress down the post-metal route with the vocals being less of a central component than before. Despite this there was no let-up in the music’s ferocity, it just felt that there was a bit more breathing room now. The biggest roars from the audience came late in the evening with the ‘Owlwood’ before ‘In awe of’ brought the night to a swift encore-less close******.

It took a good few days for my hearing to recover & I have begun to investigate the back catalogue, before purchasing the latest*******. A mighty evening which exceeded the memories of the last occasion when I was a hardcore/metal obsessed lad. It did get me wondering why the band has not achieved greater success than their peers such as Pelican, Isis, and Mogwai etc. Is it the vocals? Too metal for the post-rock crowd? Either way they are up there with the best!

*Supporting Dillinger Escape Plan at the Glasgow Cathouse.

**If it aint broke…

***It was a Saturday ok, and we were in Glasgow!

****If you can call it a rock song.

*****Can you really say you saw a band live if you can’t actually see them?

******If they did it would probably be about a ¼ length of the main set.

*******How old school!