Mar De Grises
Draining The Waterheart


4.5
superb

Review

by Shattered_Future USER (50 Reviews)
September 2nd, 2008 | 32 replies | 11,982 views


Release Date: 2008 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A tale of death growls, melodic doom and post metal soundscapes.

2 of 2 thought this review was well written

Picking albums of the year is always an arduous task. The overwhelming amount of albums released inevitably means that one or another is going to get left out of listening when it doesn’t deserve to be. On the flip side, plenty of albums are picked that don’t deserve the honor at all. For me, at least, albums of the year have to blend quality with originality or innovation. In 2007, Novembers Doom’s The Novella Reservoir brought a new meaning to the word “heavy” and sonically crushed everything in its path; OM’s Pilgrimage, while not their best effort, still displayed that a 2 person band can sound fuller than many 5 piece acts today; and After Forever’s self titled album set a new standard of excellence for the gothic symphonic metal scene.

Although 2008 still has a ways to go, some albums already have my vote. Draining The Waterheart, the sophomore album by Chilean death/doom act Mar De Grises, is such an album. The group’s first album, The Tatterdemalion Express, didn’t really do too much for me. Sure, it was a decent listen, but it didn’t have much staying power, and didn’t stick out among other death/doom albums I had listened to.

Draining The Waterheart, on the other hand, is an exercise in brilliance. A little bit of influence from their contemporaries makes its way into the music (in particular, a Swallow The Sun-esque riff makes its appearance here and there), but the vast majority of the album’s sound is entirely the band’s own. The vocals range from standard death growls and screams to singing and muttering, all staples of the genre. Melancholic keyboards interspersed with a dual guitar base also may not seem like anything original.

Mar De Grises’s main strength, and the reason why this album sticks out so much, is the ability to blend death/doom with a glut of post-metal sensibilities. Throughout the album, delay-drenched guitar lines and an atmospheric quality not seen in any doom album I’ve ever listened to make their way into every song. Some songs, such as Fantasia, are solely devoted to this atmosphere; a single theme weaves in and out of its 3 minutes of background noise, almost reminiscent of a glitch tune. Most of the songs have post-metal and doom metal elements in equal parts, though, and the blend makes the album one of the most original things to come down the doom metal pike in a long time. In terms of compositional ability, Mar De Grises are also head and shoulders above many acts. They aren’t afraid of key changes, and modulations occur quite a few times throughout songs, much more so than other doom contemporaries.

Even though the album has a few flaws, that doesn’t detract from its overall brilliance. Occasionally, riffs will go on for too long without enough variation, and the production isn’t the greatest. It sounds like a worse version of Agalloch’s Ashes Against The Grain, with the vocals mixed way too low. Regardless, the songwriting on here is top notch, the artistic vision is fresh and exciting, and the music is absolutely beautiful.

Album of the year contender? I certainly think so.

Recommended Tracks:
Sleep Just One Dawn
Deep-Seeded Hope Avant-Garde
One Possessed


*RESUBMIT*



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user ratings (57)
Chart.
4.1
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
AngelPhoenix
September 3rd 2008



2764 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Ah, this is back. Re-written though right? Regardless, nice review man.

I don't know how to feel about this album, pretty much everything you say about it I feel is true and agree with but yet I get bored with this rather easily. And Doom is my second favorite sub-genre of metal so that's not it. Still have no idea what to rate this.

Shattered_Future
September 3rd 2008



1539 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

No, it's the original review. I just noticed it was missing today and reposted it.

rasputin
September 3rd 2008



14512 Comments


I didn't really like The Tatterdemalion Express, but you say this is better, but I'm still unsure

BallsToTheWall
September 3rd 2008



44164 Comments


Album rules, I was actually a sad panda when this got lost in the crash so good to see it back. South America is producing some cool metal these days as well.

Willie
Moderator
September 3rd 2008



15875 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I really like the first album, but I haven't got around to finding this one yet. Glad to see it was finally reposted.

Digging: Emperor - In The Nightside Eclipse - 20th Year Anniversary

jrowa001
September 3rd 2008



8750 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

this album is HUGE!

jingledeath
October 10th 2008



7104 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Cool review.I'm going to get this like right now!

fireaboveicebelow
October 15th 2008



6837 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

finally got around to listening to this a second time, this album just fucked up my 2008 list

mothergoose
March 26th 2009



308 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Hell yes. I had this album for months and forgot to listen to it. Boy have I been missing out... I like it enough to buy a hard copy.

Essence
April 15th 2009



3576 Comments


Someone tell me if I would like this because at present I can not immediately acquire it

fireaboveicebelow
April 15th 2009



6837 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I can send it to you and yes you would like this if you have time for the whole thing

Essence
April 15th 2009



3576 Comments


What does that mean, "have time for the whole thing?" Are you implying that I might die before I listen to the entire album?

fireaboveicebelow
April 15th 2009



6837 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

...I don't know that would be cool though

I meant this is best listened to in one sitting This Message Edited On 04.15.09

Essence
April 15th 2009



3576 Comments


*funneh joke go here*

mothergoose
June 14th 2009



308 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I had to bump this to 5 stars... and I am ridiculously picky with my 5 star ratings, but this is my favorite doom metal album thus far. As fire said, it needs to be listened to in one sitting to fully appreciate. I take it road tripping with me, or listen to it with headphones at night before falling asleep. Everything about this album suits me.

limbs
June 4th 2010



21 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Does I'm the only one who like the production ? I'm pretty sure the final product is what they wanted at the begining.

One of the best doom album I've heard in my life.

pillowswantyoursoul
June 15th 2010



923 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

One of the best albums I have ever heard.
There's no part of this album I don't enjoy.

DarkNoctus
Contributing Reviewer
August 28th 2010



8737 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

A tale of death growls, melodic doom and post metal soundscapes.

sold

great review, definitely picking this up

Digging: Mournful Congregation - Concrescence of the Sophia

Willie
Moderator
August 28th 2010



15875 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This is an awesome album and maybe a little better done than the debut, but the debut is worth checking out too.

Apollo
September 25th 2010



10242 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

so fucking good



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