Mar De Grises
Streams Inwards


4.0
excellent

Review

by Trey Spencer STAFF
August 25th, 2010 | 126 replies


Release Date: 2010 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Why do most of the talented doom bands ditch the genre? Mar De Grises haven't left yet, but they're very close.

Looking at The Tatterdemalion Express and Draining the Waterheart, it’s not hard to figure out why Mar De Grises are so loved within metal circles. They’ve built their career on delivering doom that is as powerful and epic as it is innovative. Without worrying about artificial limitations, they took post metal’s penchant for huge riffs and dynamic structures and combined them with doom’s sense of melody and melancholy to create a sound that was mostly their own. They also benefitted from the ability to restrain themselves from overdoing any one element. They were able to realize that melodic interludes, by design, aren’t supposed to be a constant part of any song and that well-placed tempo shifts are a huge benefit to music so commonly lethargic. Mar De Grises’ third album, Streams Inwards, builds on these fundamental ideas, but also finds them pushing in new directions.

The easiest way to explain this new direction would be to simply state that Mar De Grises have dumped their post metal influence in favor of post rock and a bit of prog – a fact that has had quite an impact on the band’s overall sound. Streams Inwards completely lacks the nihilistic atmosphere and crushing riffs of its predecessors. In fact, despite the death growls and double bass, there isn’t really anything that could be considered heavy. Songs such as “The Bell and the Solar Gust” work by fusing riffs best described as ‘doom-lite’ with expansive melodies that skirt the line between post and prog rock. It’s a quirky formula that is actually quite effective once people accept this unexpected change of direction. Surprisingly, though, this new melodic angle isn’t the biggest change that the band is expecting fans to accept. Beginning on the fourth track, Streams Inwards introduces an ambient influence that causes the songs to become a bit more formless and wandering.

“Spectral Ocean” introduces fans to this new approach through three minutes of lush electronics that pulse and crackle underneath a sparse keyboard melody. Before anyone cries about the introduction of electronics, it should be noted that their introduction is almost entirely responsible for the return of the desolate feel that is mostly missing from the first part of the album. It’s also their introduction that lends songs such as “Knotted Delirium” their unique edge – in the case of “Knotted Delirium”, it’s the piano melody that sounds as if it is being played underwater or through a warped analog tape. Closing track, “Aphelion Aura”, even takes things a step further by dropping the guitars altogether. On this song, additional layers of electronics are added to make up for the missing guitars and soft female vocals replace the growls. The slow transition from riff-centric tracks such as “Starmaker” to the eventual electronics-dominated closer is deliberate and skillfully done. It’s a conversion that makes the album feel like a complete journey; a journey that never becomes stagnant.

There are going to be those that lament the loss of the bleak atmospheres and crushing riffs, but it will be their failure if they dismiss Streams Inwards based solely on what’s missing. Sure, this definitely isn’t the same heavy, oppressive band of a few years ago, but they’ve more than made up for it in other areas. The injection of subtle post and prog rock influences has resulted in a diverse album that is much easier to get through than previous releases. The songs are some of the band’s strongest and most creative, and ultimately, Streams Inwards is a big step forward for Mar De Grises – a step that most people should embrace.



Recent reviews by this author
Kenn Nardi Dancing With the PastSick of It All The Last Act of Defiance
Meshuggah I (Special Edition)Cannibal Corpse A Skeletal Domain
Rabbit Junk Pop That Pretty ThirtyAnathema Distant Satellites
user ratings (78)
Chart.
3.8
excellent
other reviews of this album
Apollo (4.5)
Doomy metal that is so much more than just doom...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Willie
Moderator
August 25th 2010


16145 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Excellent album. Definitely check out At the Soundawn's newest album too.

MySpace Page: http://www.myspace.com/mardegrises2

Digging: Mors Principium Est - Dawn Of The 5th Era

Willie
Moderator
August 25th 2010


16145 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

No, not at all. This isn't funeral doom. This is more melodic and is capable of more than one tempo.

Apollo
August 25th 2010


10373 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Okay this band sounds amazing. I will add them to my list of bands to check out. Since I prefer heavier doom I will probably check out their early stuff first?

Willie
Moderator
August 25th 2010


16145 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

All of their stuff is good. I'd reccomend starting with Draining the Waterheart as a good place to start.

Apollo
August 25th 2010


10373 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Okay awesome, thanks. Great review too.

Willie
Moderator
August 25th 2010


16145 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

If you do listen to this and like it, then check out that At the Soundawn album I mentioned too.

Apollo
August 25th 2010


10373 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

alright man will do

Ponton
Emeritus
August 25th 2010


5819 Comments


great review, can't wait to hear this

Digging: Gates - Bloom and Breathe

Mikesn
Emeritus
August 25th 2010


3709 Comments


I'm liking Shining Human Skin. This looks really interesting

Willie
Moderator
August 25th 2010


16145 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

It is really good. It comes out in Europe on the 30th.

Spare
August 25th 2010


5448 Comments


this looks real good. is it kinda like a heavier katatonia?

Digging: Forth Wanderers - Tough Love

Willie
Moderator
August 25th 2010


16145 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

They kind of have a unique sound. I guess there are similar elements to Katatonia's discography if you're reaching for them, but overall I'd say that it's a bad comparison -- but, on the other hand, people into Katatonia's style would probably like this too.

Ponton
Emeritus
August 25th 2010


5819 Comments


here's a song for people to try out

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kdykJO0XDTc

the sound reminds me of novembre, if that helps anybody

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
August 25th 2010


31611 Comments


Sounds good

Digging: Theo Parrish - American Intelligence

Willie
Moderator
August 25th 2010


16145 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

the sound reminds me of novembre, if that helps anybody
That's a decent comparison, but only for this album. I think these guys have a bit less of a rock vibe than Novembre, though.

Ponton
Emeritus
August 25th 2010


5819 Comments


yeah i agree there, that was just going by that one track for me, i guess

hope the rest lives up to it, which it bet it will judging by your review and others that ive read

Willie
Moderator
August 25th 2010


16145 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah, I was going to say that this is the only song with such a strong Novembre/melodic doom vibe. It's probably why they chose it as the first single.

Actually, the first three tracks all kind of do… if you like the youtube track then you'll like the album. Are you going to review it?

Ponton
Emeritus
August 25th 2010


5819 Comments


I don't think so, only if my opinions were very different from yours, and I'd doubt that they'd be anyway.

DarkNoctus
Contributing Reviewer
August 25th 2010


8940 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

want this so hard

good review

Apollo
August 25th 2010


10373 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

so I checked out the earlier stuff from these guys on youtube...fucking awesome



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2014 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Privacy Policy