This Friday, April 8th, marks the long-anticipated, collaborative release between CULT OF LUNA and JULIE CHRISTMAS. Titled Mariner, the lush record transports listeners to the outer rim of the ever-expanding boundaries of the cosmos — where the rules of man are not applicable and the cold, dark nothing envelops the harsh realities of the universe. As a precursor to its official unveiling, today Noisey offers upMariner in its stunning entirety alongside an in-depth conversation with JULIE CHRISTMAS at this location and below.
Reaping unanimous mass approval from critics globally, in a 4/5 review New Noise Magazine writes, “Mariner is a dense album that reveals its secrets with multiple listens. CULT OF LUNA provides JULIE CHRISTMAS with the dynamic palette that only they can achieve and in turn, she gives them a fresh vocal quality that pushes their melodies to a new sonic and emotional level. This union benefits the sound of both and makes for a fine piece of collaborative art that you do not want to miss out on.” “Invoking shades of Godspeed You! Black Emperor and Mogwai, the song [‘The Wreck Of S.S. Needle’] quickly gives way to thunderous riffing and percussive madness,” issues Svbterranean in an unprecedented 11/10 rating, “The controlled chaos on this song is very impressive. They manage to keep a groove and strong riffing, while still interjecting it with light, airy melodies courtesy of well-placed keyboard, and perfect chord and single note choices with the guitars… Mariner should be seen as a benchmark for what collaboration albums sound like.” In a perfect 10/10 review, Wickedchannel gushes, “From start to finish, there is not one flaw on this record… Metal has just found its savior…. a ‘must buy’ if there ever was one.” In a 4.5/5 score, Metal Riot concurs, celebrating, “Five lengthy songs that build on the success of [CULT OF LUNA’s] Vertikal with further exploration of cosmic metaphor, psyche and innerspace,” furthering, “The combination of CULT OF CHRISTMAS is winning, fit to score a space opera or serve well in a fight sequence between Punisher and Daredevil in an urban locale with equal potency. Put these parties together and you have quite the remarkable pairing which will make fans of any of the artist’s current or past related projects gush.”
Elsewhere the sentiment echoes. In a final 9/10 rating, Metal Wani hails, “Every facet of this combination is enthralling and charismatic, with some of the most expressive vocals I have ever heard.” In 5/5 review, Heavy Blog Is Heavy opines, “Mariner is proof that post-metal is not a stagnant genre, and CULT OF LUNA are not a stagnant band. Calling on eighteen years of experience in the genre, CULT OF LUNA has crafted what could potentially be their crowning achievement.” In a 4/5 verdict, Sea Of Tranquility applauds a, “hypnotic, dramatic, and at times ominous release that proves what great pairing CULT OF LUNA and JULIE CHRISTMAS are.” Adds Metal Rules in another 5/5 verdict, “Mariner is a virtually flawless, endlessly fascinating work – a grand experiment that pays off big time again and again. Whether it will be a one-off for CULT OF LUNA and CHRISTMAS I guess remains to be seen, but let’s hope it’s not.”
Mariner was captured in multiple locations with drums and bass recorded by Magnus Lindberg at Tonteknik Recording in Umeå, Sweden and additional recordings by Kristian Karlsson at Studio Hufvudstaden in Söderköping, Sweden. JULIE CHRISTMAS’ vocals were produced and engineered by Andrew Schneider at Translator Audio and Loho Studios in New York City. The entire five-track gem was mixed and mastered by Magnus Lindberg at Redmount Studios in Stockholm, Sweden. Mariner will be available on CD, LP and vinyl with preorders available at the following locations. Amazon HERE. iTunes HERE. Indie Shop HERE.
Since uniting in 1998, CULT OF LUNA has released seven albums, been awarded the top rock/metal award at the Swedish national radio awards and cemented their status as one of the true innovators of the metal genre. In 2013, the Swedes teamed up with Indie Recordings for the release of perhaps their most successful work to date in the shape of Vertikal I and Vertikal II. These cohesive pieces of work received worldwide recognition and praise and only elevated the band’s status to greater heights. For their eighth effort, the post-metal pioneers join forces with the talented JULIE CHRISTMAS (Battle Of Mice, Made Out Of Babies) from Brooklyn, who adds an even larger depth to CULT OF LUNA‘s sound — powerfully displayed on Mariner.