Mare – S/T EP


When I get something from Hydra Head I always know what I’ll be listening to will be cerebral, challenging, heavy music, so when I received the new self-titled Mare EP and consequently found out that the old vocalist from The End does the vocals, I was really excited. Musically, this band covers a lot of ground but still keeps a large amount of cohesion. Stratospheric highs of brilliant noise often crumble into crippling, depressive lows. Brutally clamorous guitars give way to lush atmospherics. I find it terribly hard to believe this balance of ebb and flow is a debut EP.

Take the massive walls of noise from Times of Grace-era Neurosis, the corrosive dissonance of Converge, and the experimentation and lush beauty of Sigur Ros and you might get an idea of what’s really going on with this EP. In general, I’d lump this in with the Isis/Neurosis sound, but there is simply too much happening to corner Mare like that. There are harsh screams, gruff yells, gorgeous clean singing, and breathtaking chorals. There are thick noise riffs, dissonant harmonics, airy atmospherics, and a fucking French horn for crying out loud.

I really have lots of words in my head that might better describe the sound of this EP, because I am having a hard time trying to take these words and form them into sentences. So I’ll end this review with a string of words rather than anything that would make sense: epic, harrowing, crushing, beautiful, hopeful, apocalyptic, devastating, meticulous, bleak, crippling, abrasive, scathing, esthetic, atmospheric, seamless, euphoria, psychedelic, stunning, celestial, genius.