I've got to say - I was never the biggest Cult Of Luna fan, but this new record, a collaboration with the legendary Julie Christmas is utterly mindblowing. An album that takes from the best aspects of both musicians Mariner is a head and shoulders above its peers. With cinematic soundscapes and an overwhelming vision, Mariner is an album that expands the sonic possibilities of both bands in order to create something far greater. With occasionally poppy touches crashing into monochromatic soundscapes, this is the kind of metal that really gets my attention.
There is something strangely transcendent about this record. I don't know if its the contrast between screams and growls, the larger than life guitar sounds or the droning qualities of the music but its easy to get lost in what these artists have crafted here. There is something inherently fascinating about a hooky riff like the one on Chevron especially in contrast to more experimental passages. Things like that prepare you for some of the weirder moments on the record (Of which there are many) and opens your mind in honor of a world that so many have forgotten. Despite all the madness found within though, Mariner never gets blown too far off course and you find yourself circling around key ideas that ground the record in reality.
Mariner is a record that blindsided me. I hadn't heard anything about its impending release and wasn't entirely sure what to expect. Yet here I am - three or four listens deep and I can pretty confidently tell you that this is going to be a top ten record of 2016. Every once in a while you stumble across a collaboration where the two artists represented are a perfect match for each other, Mariner is one such example. All we can do now is enjoy the album and pray that these two titans work together again soon.
Find the bands on Facebook!
Cult of Luna: https://www.facebook.com/cultoflunamusic/?ref=ts&fref=ts
Julie Christmas: https://www.facebook.com/Julie-Christmas-141649579195453/?fref=ts