Stupid Questions and Savvy Answers About the New Cult of Luna DVD
Today (April 21), Swedish post-metal institution Cult of Luna issue Years in a Day, their first live video since 2010’s Eviga Riket. And continuing in the tradition of making their DVDs something truly worth owning, as opposed to another piece of plastic inside a plastic container — Eviga Riket was mounted in a hardcover book, while its predecessor, 2009’s Fire Was Born, came with the Eternal Kingdom album — the band has included various value-adds to the Years package. You’ll hear all about that everywhere, but will you hear the random musings of longtime Cult of Luna fans when they sit down to watch this masterfully filmed and edited eyeball caresser? Of course you will — those are called reviews! That’s why this fan decided to skip the traditional review and share Years’ educational and informative aspects.
FIVE QUESTIONS I HAVE AFTER WATCHING YEARS IN A DAY
1) Onstage, Cult of Luna is comprised of seven dudes. Whatever they travel in and haul equipment with has to be sufficient enough for seven dudes’ gear (including three guitar rigs, two drum sets, the fancy light system) and personal effects, not to mention merch and people to help set up all that gear and sell that merch. The question is obvious: Has a CoL tour ever come close to breaking even?
2) If you’re anything like me — and my sincerest condolences if you are — you own the majority of CoL’s discography, but still find yourself unfamiliar with song titles. Why can’t I remember that one of the most perfect songs ever written is called “Owlwood”?
3) After watching this, it is to wonder what sort of mad genius their light person is. Does s/he have a PhD in the burgeoning fields of Illumination Patterning and Sensory Manipulation, or is s/he just a ginormous tech nerd who likes shiny things?
4) Anyone have the number of a good chiropractor? Stage left guitarist Fredrik Kihlberg is often hunched over like a member of ’90s Korn and is going to need it. If not now, then later. For sure.
5) Is this package worth the asking price? Here’s what you get: “Years in a Day is more than just a simple DVD,” reads the press release. “It’s a bundle including: two-hour DVD captured in Paris last year at La Gaîté Lyrique; live CDs from Roadburn Festival 2013 and 2016; a 20-page booklet; download-code for HD video of the entire Paris show and audio files; all combined in a stunning 10” vinyl sized, tri-fold package; strictly limited to 7,000 copies.” All of this for only 35€! Considering the Euro and Trump’s Ruble are trading similarly at the moment, you’d only be paying $37 U.S. (Shipping costs from Oslo-based Indie Recordings are another story). The answer: abso-fucking-lutely!
FIVE THINGS I LEARNED AFTER WATCHING YEARS IN A DAY
1) CoL use lots of awesome gear, including some wacky-looking MIDI processors and clear drum sets, which look amazing — until you catch drummer Christian Augustin inadvertently adjusting his junk during some downtime.
2) As part of the incredible lighting display, back lighting features highly. It’s a useful tool in creating mystery and hiding yourself from the public knowing who you are and what you look like. I bet half of CoL’s fans couldn’t pick them out of a police lineup.
3) On the downside, throughout the course of the two-hour gig, CoL interact with their audience exactly zero times. And despite their exerting of physical energy, the crowd senses this lack of connection and matches with an appropriately reserved response. No wonder so many “real metal” types look down upon the post-metal scene as populated by hipsters and over-serious No Fun League mopes.
4) The band’s sound tech is immensely good at his / her job and probably has the patience of a saint (just setting up and mic-ing CoL on a nightly basis must be a nightmare) with ears so finely tuned that listening to the Misfits’ Walk Among Us and St. Anger’s snare is likely their equivalent of waterboarding.
5) Given this quote from the band — “A few years ago, we took the decision to keep touring to a minimum. The sole reason was to prevent us from burning out, to keep the flame and the passion burning. But the experiences on the road that we've shared for almost 20 years have been life-changing for all of us. It has bounded us together like brothers, and we have been given the privilege to interact with incredible people all around the globe” — I’m guessing Years in a Day refers to this show being a career culmination, a show that likely wasn’t originally in the cards. Never underestimate the power of the gig!
Years in a Day is out now on Indie Recordings.