Cult of Luna and Julie Christmas – “Mariner” (2016)


Label: Indie Recordings

Review by Warren Mayocchi

“Mariner” is a collaboration between Cult of Luna and Julie Christmas as they launch into the unknown of deep space with music. Cult of Luna have a combination of heavy bass and drums, atmospheric synths and guitars, and harsh male vocals which is often called post metal. Julie Christmas has a vocal range to match – she can scream, she can croon. Cult of Luna and Julie Christmas are matched well, they sound as though they have been playing together for years and their respective styles complement each other here to create a musical balance which would be lacking without the other. They have recorded 5 contemplative songs, of which the shortest is just over 8 minutes. Perhaps requiring the right mood, it did take a few listens for me to align my ears with the sound of “Mariner”. The album begins with the magnificent lift off of “A Greater Call” and lyrically features the theme of the album clearly: “The world left behind is dying / As we escape gravity”. Follow up track is “Chevron” and it is mayhem in a vacuum with razor blade vocals tearing into everything. Further into our journey we discover “The Wreck of the S.S. Needle” and possibly despair at ever finding a destination as mechanical vocals lead into a tortured vocal and insistent music. “Approaching Transition” is a largely instrumental song which drifts through the void. “Cygnus” closes the album with a crushing roar and the best musical passages on the record. At this point in the story, all that can be described are the sensations as the band reach their destination: “Write your letter to the night / Sightless, songless, silent giant”. It is a rather awesome conclusion. “Mariner” makes use of repetitive musical and vocal passages, however rather than being boring or trance-like the album remains captivating throughout. Not one for those who dislike growled vocals, but they will be missing out on an album which represents well a desperate trip into the massive unknown of space.

Rating – 85/100



  1. A Greater Call
  2. Chevron
  3. The Wreck Of S.S. Needle
  4. Approaching Transition
  5. Cygnus


Line Up

  • Julie Christmas – Vocals
  • Johannes Persson – Guitars and Vocals
  • Fredrik Kihlberg – Guitars and Vocals
  • Kristian Karlsson – Keyboard and Vocals
  • Andreas Johansson – Bass
  • Magnus Lindberg – Drums and Studio-Engineering
  • Thomas Hedlund – Drums and Percussion




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