|Review: Mare Erythraeum - Mare Erythraeum|
Label: Valse Sinistre
Year released: 2009
Genre: Black Metal
Review online: October 14, 2010
Reviewed by: Memnarch
Rated 4/5 (80%) (4 Votes)
Mare Erythraeum is the debut EP from the Hungarian oddballs of the same name, recently released on the Valse Sinistre label. It's an extremely brief showcase of the band's material, and trying to pigeonhole this into any sort of genre classification at all for me has proved quite fruitless. The music straddles the borderlines between some sort of ferocious discordant black metal and a bleak psychotic form of post-industrial.
If you were to take the Odinist-era abstraction of Blut Aus Nord and blend it with the expansive, spacey black metal performed by Darkspace, it could come close in describing the sound of Mare Erythraeum. The first track is an intro of sorts, a disjointed guitar tone backed up by a slow drum pattern, although I don't particularly see it as a separate intro, as the EP is better viewed as one entity rather than four separate tracks. The whole sound is extremely unhinged, as if it could 'unravel' at any time, the guitar never really follows any particular pattern, it's extremely unconventional in tone, the riffs don't particularly sound like riffs at times, descending into an eerie wail, and at other times it takes up a higher, spacey tone. The vocals are fantastic, as if what I think is true, that the band are going for a deranged mentally unstable sound, they fit perfectly. They're a wretched sort of crying, but avoid the corniness of many so-called 'depressive' black metal bands. The drumming is brisk, pretty much standard fare, arguably the most conventional thing in the release, but still managing in keeping with the surroundings.
In the second track, constantly throughout the song there is a errant electronic beeping constantly chipping away, and the atmosphere this creates is incredible, almost like an abandoned satellite perennially orbiting nothing but terror, and the knowledge there's nothing that will ever break that orbit. It's something I've never ever really come across before, it's extremely unique.
It's fantastic work, as I've stated, it's impossible really to pin a sound on these guys, but it needs to be heard by anyone who remotely calls themselves a fan of Blut Aus Nord, Darkspace and industrial/spacey black metal in general. It's unique black metal wavering on the dizzy edge of mental capitulation. If you want it, be advised, you'd need to get it quick, as it was only pressed in 100 copies. The only points that are lost are due to the length, it's too brief an affair, but hopefully we'll be seeing a full-length soon, and seeing these guys making waves too.
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