(Andy Synn takes a journey with Cult of Luna on The Long Road North, out Friday on Metal Blade)
Like I said in my review of the new Immolation album yesterday, writing about a band with a long and much-loved career comes with several inherent complications.
In the case of Cult of Luna, the band are so beloved by their fanbase that it’s hard to get people to admit that they’re not infallible, as I found out when I suggested that both their last two releases, 2019’s A Dawn to Fear and last year’s The Raging River EP, had some significant (although not insurmountable) flaws.
The thing is, I’ve always tried to be as honest and objective as I can be with all my reviews – while acknowledging, of course, that true objectivity is an impossible goal – which means providing as clear and as complete an impression of the music, its highs and its lows, its good points and its bad points, and it seems to me like it would be doing the band a disservice to treat them any differently than anyone else.
So let me state this clearly – The Long Road North is not a perfect album. Nor is is “the best album of the band’s career”, as I’ve seen it described elsewhere (in some cases seemingly before they’d even heard it). But it is still, for all that it occasionally loses its way, a road well worth taking.