Review Summary: Intricately denseMarveless
is a huge, deceptively beautiful record. Using thick, hazy guitar tones and relentlessly pounding drums to its advantage, As Real maintain a highly dense atmosphere all throughout the album. In spite of this being the band’s first full length offering, its modus operandi is crystal clear and highly effective: upon unleashing its staggering levels of distortion, the songs achieve hypnotising qualities through hazily repetitive patterns and obscured, beautifully monotonous vocals.
‘Undid’ wastes no time, instantly locking itself into a tastefully addicting groove. Much like most of Marveless
, the song looms like a dark cloud, gradually thrusting itself forward. It’s a sludgy, nearly impenetrable affair, with the few distinguishable lyrics only substantiating the overwhelming ambiance. Every word is drawn out across at least ten seconds, making the distortion-soaked vocals sound like near-hums. As such, ‘Fade away… / Slow….’
might be the most appropriate description for As Real’s sound. Similarly, ‘Find the time… / To breathe...’
pushes its way to the front towards the end of the track, carrying its delightfully abrasive tactics of inducing near-hypnosis all the way through.
Yet, it is the brief moments of Marveless
breaking its beautiful monotony that make the album as astounding as it is. The final minute of the aforementioned ‘Undid’ finds the band deconstructing the song piece by piece, leaving nothing but an incredibly clean, ethereal guitar melody in its final seconds. In a similar fashion, ‘Pictured Below’ is built upon a foundation of off-kilter drums, leaving more space for the vocals and bass to breathe while still expertly using repetitive textures to its advantage. Finishing on a descent into the depths of post-metal perfection, the vocalist lamenting ’I feel… / It now...’
solidifies the song as one of the record’s best.
Another highlight comes in the form of the epic, fifteen-minute closer. ‘Easter Yellow’ encompasses all that makes Marveless
great, stretching its sludgy qualities for the first half, before kicking into a slightly faster-paced, punkier gear and subsequently ending on an instrumental passage of heavy shoegaze. In spite of these minor changes to the overall sound, the album can be faulted for being slightly too one-faceted, especially with its runtime of nearly an hour. Yet, with Marveless
, As Real have crafted an incredibly compelling record, where giving into its dense atmosphere and slyly intricate nature makes for an incredibly worthy experience.