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Cult of Luna - Cult Of Luna & Julie Christmas: Mariner CD (album) cover

CULT OF LUNA & JULIE CHRISTMAS: MARINER

Cult of Luna

 

Experimental/Post Metal

3.86 | 35 ratings

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Rune2000
Special Collaborator
Prog Metal Team
4 stars I've been a fan of Cult of Luna since 2013 when I saw them live here in Stockholm. The energy in their live shows is off the wall and I can highly recommend the band as a live act. A few years and a couple of live shows later I'm still quite fascinated by the band's amazing live antics but I've so far felt that their live energy has never been able to translate to their records. Fortunately for me, Cult of Luna finally made that transition with the release of Mariner.

2016 saw the band doing a unique collaboration with the New York-based vocalist Julie Christmas and this is something that the band have been interested in for some time. Luckily, both parties found the needed time and recorded Mariner over the course of about a year. I have to say that this is not the most obvious combination of artists put on paper but hearing the final product really puts it all in perceptive and sets all the components in the right place. Hearing Johannes Persson mixing his brutal vocal delivery with the unique voice of Julie Christmas is magical and completely re-arranges the otherwise very bleak and harsh style that the band have been going for throughout the years.

The album consists of five compositions all clocking over 8 minutes with the final track Cygnus being almost 15 minutes long. So there is definitely enough time to broad out the scope of each work, but with the flip-side of making some of the compositions a bit longer than they need to be. I personally prefer the three relatively shorter tracks with A Greater Call being the most memorable of the bunch while The Wreck Of S.S. Needle is the most intense one. I really like the structure of the latter track which lets Julie Christmas to really flesh out her vocal range, especially towards the end of the composition.

The two longer tracks are pretty good but I feel that both of them overstay their welcome by quite a few minutes. Approaching Transition is a meditative track that isn't really going anywhere and therefore could have easily been cut short by a few minutes. The closing Cygnus has some of the album's best moments but I feel that they're too far between and thus don't create the landmark that the track otherwise might have become.

If you still haven't been hooked by Cult of Luna then definitely give Mariner a shot! I think that this record really deserves more attention and it has the capacity of bringing a completely new fan base to the band and their unique take on the post-metal sub-genre.

***** star songs: A Greater Call (8:19) The Wreck Of S.S. Needle (9:33)

**** star songs: Chevron (8:53) Cygnus (14:50)

*** star songs: Approaching Transition (12:59)

Rune2000 | 4/5 |

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