(8/10) Cult Of Luna's new album comes with only five song, but these pack a punch. In the end this record provides you with 55 minutes of confusion, experiments, intensity and depth, unveiling a new approach to post-metal.
The guys from Cult Of Luna slightly changed their sound by adding the New York based singer Julie Christmas, known from the noise rock bands Battle Of Mice and Made Out Of Babies.
"A Greater Call" feels like the calm before the storm. With its speherful melodies it marks a peaceful beginning. But something in your head tells you, that this can't go on forever. And this silent voice insight your head is right. It's a ear-splitting scream that turns the atmosphere into almost the opposite. The song develops to a raging post metal track that includes pure despair. It's also the first time Julie Christmas appears. The singer from Brooklyn is cautiously adding her crystal clear vocal parts as a background. One thing gets clear already at this stage. Julie Christmas' contribution adds something to Cult Of Luna's sound that might lead to different reaction. In my opinion the singer makes Cult Of Luna's sound wider and offers new opportunities.
Christmas' part in the second song gets far more to the forefront. It seems like the band used the opener to slowly introduce Christams before she gets the full spotlight in "Chevron". The track is more confusing than the opener and it's especially Christmas' vocals that are hard to follow. Anyhow, after a first stage of confusion things get more thrilling each time you listen to the song and the album.
The nine minutes long middle part "The Wreck of S.S. Needle" is the masterpiece of "Mariner". It has a dark beginning with samples and Christmas' vocals. But like with the opener you can see/hear the evil coming closer. Christmas screams one's mind to the heavens which gives this more silent track a depth that is mind-blowing. Listening to her voice actually brought Dawn Crosby from Détente to my mind. Of course the Swedes from Umeå do not play thrash metal, but it's these intensive screams that are similar to Crosby's. "The Wreck of S.S. Needle" is an uncomfortable journey that ends up deep in the listeners soul to stay there for quite a while.
The counterpart to such an unsettling song is called "Approaching Transition". This sphereful track is keep silent with some attempts of being more heavy. But in the end it's a melancholic tune that has a greater level fragility.
The closer"Cygnus" is a mixture of all heard before. It features Christmas' special vocals, he typical Cult Of Luna screams, slow and intensive riffs and a brutal level of intensity.
"Mariner" is an album that demands something from its listeners. These five songs are laid-back music. You have to undertake an effort to dive into Cult Of Luna's new sound construct, but I can tell you that it's worth it since it is in the end rewarded by great songs that stretches boarders of metal.
- A Greater Call
- The Wreck of S.S. Needle
- Approaching Transition
Label: Indie Recordings
Genre: Post Metal
Release Date EU: April 8th, 2016