Cult of Luna recordings should be treasured.... 3 years ago they released Vertikal and went on an indefinite hiatus, before releasing Mariner earlier this year. At which point they announced their intention not to tour the album and have gone back on hiatus
The first thing to note is the joint credits to Cult of Luna and Julie Christmas. This is no 'featuring' where the lesser artist is hardly heard, this is a full on collaboration
There are only 5 tracks on the album (from 8 to 15 mins) and it's a concept about the earth's population preparing to evacuate the planet for outer space. For all hitchhikers fans not a dissimilar story to the Golgofrincham's B ark but without the laughs
Opening track A Greater Call features the usual wall of noise and screamed lyrics but counterpointed with the sweeter melodic vocals of Ms Christmas.
The white noise created by Cult of Luna will put some off but if you listen long enough it contains plenty of keyboard and melody woven in and ebbs and flows to crescendo's and troughs. It is something very special
On the next track, Chevron, it's Julie Christmas taking lead vocal and you suddenly realise she is not there to soften the mood. Her screams and shouts are very unsettling and reminiscent of the delight Ms Tarrie B who stalked the metal scene in various guises through the 90's
The Wreck of the SS Needle follows a similar patter of female lead vocals being taken to the limit and is the best track on the album. Approaching Transition is almost instrumental and much more atmospheric and slower. Finally listening to Cygnus you get a feeling the album doesn't have a happy ending but it does have a guitar solo and clean sung male vocals!
As long as the hiatus only last 3 years again this band will remain one of the most innovative and progressive metals band out there