Monday 4 April 2016

Cult of Luna & Julie Christmas – Mariner (Album Review)

Release date: April 8th 2016. Label: Indie Recordings. Format: CD/DD/Vinyl

Mariner – Tracklisting

1. A Greater Call 08:19
2. Chevron 08:54
3. The Wreck of S.S. Needle 09:34
4. Approaching Transition 12:59
5. Cygnus 14:50

Line Up:

Julie Christmas - Vocals

Cult of Luna

Magnus Líndberg - Drums
Johannes Persson - Guitars, Vocals
Andreas Johansson - Bass
Thomas Hedlund - Drums, Percussion
Fredrik Kihlberg - Guitars, Vocals
Kristian Karlsson - Keyboards, Vocals


When it was announced that Cult Of Luna would be making an album with Julie Christmas, it was met with fevered anticipation amongst fans of both artists and despite the fact that sometimes when a project is that hyped up due to the artists involved or what an artist has done in the past, then it can at times be a bit of a letdown, the music not living up to the initial hype but this is in no way the case with Mariner and has to rank as the best work that both Cult Of Luna and Julie Christmas have been involved with.

This is music that can only be described as thoroughly immersive and the mixture of Christmas' at times beautiful and at others abrasive vocals with the massive and inspiring soundscapes of Cult Of Luna is a match made in musical heaven and throughout the albums five vast tracks this is proved beyond a shadow of a doubt.

Cult Of Luna prove again on Mariner that they are one of the finest bands on the planet and their musical ability is unquestionable while Julie Christmas is as you would expect extremely impressive on this album and proves what an outstanding singer she is and the impeccable range of her voice is in full force here and having been a fan of hers since her work with Battle Of Mice and subsequently checked out all her other work, each time I hear an album of hers, I am always in awe of her singing and her performance on Mariner has to be the best thing she has ever done such is the delivery of her passionate vocals and the matching of her vocals with Cult Of Luna vocalist Joahannes Persson is pretty much perfect, these vocal encounters on tracks such as A Greater Call and album closer Cygnus are as good as it gets. The fervour and feeling as Cygnus drives forward is truly a joy to listen to and is as passionate as music gets with both vocalists putting every inch of their heart and soul into it.

The whole album will have you listening in awe, particularly songs like Approaching Transition and The Wreck Of S.S Needle which are as epic in their outlook as they are in their execution and demonstrate the scope of this magnificent project excellently.

Mariner is not an album that you can just dip in and out with, you need to take the time to properly immerse yourself in it and you will find that the music will consume you from the first listen onwards.

It is an album that is cathartic as well as achingly beautiful. Truly heavy as well as melodic and melancholic. Music this special doesn't come along all that often so this is an album that needs to be fully embraced and come the end of the year, something even more special will have to come along to top this in order to rate as the album of 2016, it's that good. An epic masterpiece.

Words by Gavin Brown

Thanks to Andy at Palmer Turner Overdrive PR for the promo. Mariner will be available to buy on CD/DD from 1st April 2016 via Indie Recordings.


Julie Christmas: Facebook | BandCamp | Twitter

Cult Of Luna: Official | Facebook | Twitter