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Mare - EP

Mare

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Album Review

As modern heavy metal acts go, Mare is indeed a rare breed. From the doom-drone-sludge of Sunn 0))) to the post-screamo of Envy to the tongue-in-cheek instru-metal of the Fucking Champs, the genre itself is all over the place. But as a band, Mare are all over the place within their own realm of sound. "Anisette," the opening track on their debut EP, resembles the metal-gone-post-rock of Pelican or Isis, all complex timing and mixed up tempos, but then the vocals arise from the depths, these being the death rock, Cookie Monster growls. The dark anger of that track resolves in the elegiac lightness of the second track, "They Sent You," which falls not so very far from Sigur Rós territory, with its classical instrumentation and choirboy vocals, which it can't long sustain as the track breaks out some heroic downtuned riffage. "Tropics" lumbers along like the Mars Volta kids fronting early Black Sabbath as a lounge act, which abruptly explodes into "Palaces," a dirgey slo-mo screamathon of epic proportion, which devolves into a metallic take on math rock time signatures of the Don Caballero ilk, which promptly dissolves into the "hidden" track, "Sun for Miles," an a cappella arrangement of angelic harmonies resembling the Beach Boys composing "serious" music, which then erupts in a by-now obligatory black metal screamfest. All in all a complex and confusing, yet cathartic, first offering.

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