Mares Of Thrace – The Moulting   Leave a comment

You may remember me interviewing two pretty young gals from Canada who made up the band known as “Tosca”, well they have change their name to Mares Of Thrace and are currently on a Canadian tour. When they were still the Tosca duo, they sounded full of potential and so its pleasing to hear this new album sounding so good. Before I heard this album, I read a few things about the band on various websites and found they have had a very mixed reaction which I found surprising. What I have found intriguing is the vastly different bands they have been compared to. One article said they sound like a clone of the mall-metal band Kittie, others have stated they are basically copying Neurosis, correct me if I am wrong but Kittie and Neurosis are two adversely different bands with completely different sounds and songwriting methods but back to Mares Of Thrace.

The album begins with the intro “Harsh Tutelage of the Waltzing Kodiak” which does nothing except set the mood for the album which for the most part is a brooding atmosphere. When the first real track kicks in (Mandible), the real meat and potatoes of the band takes shape. The band is Sludge Metal mixed with post-rock elements and a serving of Doom Metal on the side. One problem I find though in this track and the rest of the album for that matter is the overall sound is a bit empty. Sure they are just a two piece band but a bit more distortion on the guitar could have worked wonders for this recording. The simple approach to songwriting and the riffing on this album isn’t really the problem here, its the hollow production and the slightly thin guitar sound that makes the album lacking but these girls can and do kick some ass when needed. One of the best examples of this comes in the forth track titled “General Sherman” when the band pushes the heavy doom angle up a notch. There is other solid doomy moments on the album like “Calcium Channels” where the band deliver a good sludge groove with a depressive Doom vibe to it and people who remember the band when they were still called Tosca will remember “Vension”. Its was a killer track then and it still can rattle bones and crack skulls with raw power and authoritative drumming.

The rest of the album is a mix bag of white noise(“The Arch”), upbeat groove metal(“Rawcake”) and a short interlude with the thought provoking title(“Oatmeal and Pornography”)..funny I Think I have done that ha ha!! Despite my apparent lack of enthusiasm for this album, I actually do like most of it. The band can play and play with a fair sense of originality and passion. There is a lot of good headbanging parts and the way some of the songs are played are very interesting, take note of some of the syncopated passages the band unleashes from time to time. The guitar work is solid and the drumming is especially powerful as she avoids the typical approach for a Sludge/Doom band. If you are a fan of Kylesa, Torche and Isis then you will dig this and even if you don’t like those bands, you may dig it anyway because this band attacks with ferocious, aggressive energy. As a full length, its a little short, more like a EP really even though it contains 10 songs. They avoid the norm in Sludge and Doom Metal by incorporating Punkish elements, experimental parts and a ton of solid groove to their (at times) chaotic, pummeling noise. While I wasn’t too impressed with the production, 80% of the actual material kills and easily can stand up against anything else in the Sludge/Doom world. Very solid debut. 8/10

www.myspace.com/maresofthrace

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Posted August 12, 2010 by doommantia in Mares Of Thrace

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