Rating:
9.0
Mar De Grises - Streams Inwards
30 August 2010


01. Starmaker
02. Shining Human Skin
03. The Bell And The Solar Gust
04. Spectral Ocean
05. Sensing The New Orbit
06. Catatonic North
07. Knotted Delirium
08. A Sea Of Dead Comets
09. Aphelion Aura [limited edition bonus]


Mar De Grises are a band that utilize an alchemical approach to music. Their process combines the heavy emotional impact of doom metal with a cerebral prog influence and imagination inspiring ambient passages to create sonic gold. As a result, the music ultimately appeals to listeners on many levels. Streams Inwards, their third full length, sees the band continuing to employ the aforementioned elements of their arsenal, adding in some Post-metal to boot. (Enough so that the Seasons Of Mist site lists the band as Post-Doom. I guess journalists can feel free to like the band now that the "post-" tag is affixed)

The continued cross-pollination of styles has resulted in an album that is every bit as stunning as their past releases… MDG seem to almost effortlessly shift from quieter moments with clean guitars and vocals to the thundering assault of Juan Escobar's bellowing death/doom throat work and bludgeoning power chords. Of course, even the crushing riffs are often accompanied by a second guitar playing a mournful melody line over the top, allowing the band to capture multiple emotions and add to the complexity of those passages. The keyboards top it off, adding an otherworldly aura to the music, as in "Sea Of Dead Comets".

The songs within are long and sprawling, with the shifts in style being fairly drastic and, at times, rather abrupt. The expansive tracks with sudden directional changes sweep the listener up and take them along for a ride. At times the journey is tranquil and relaxing, at other times the path becomes dark and foreboding, with hints at terrors unseen. The destination is unknown and, ultimately immaterial, the listener is just all too happy to be a part of the experience.

"Aphelion Aura", the digipack bonus track, captures almost the same "floating adrift in space" vibe utilized so well by Oranssi Pazuzu last year… with some equally free female vocals that really ends things in a somewhat ironic note. The album is dubbed Streams Inwards, yet will leave the listener floating outward.

Ultimately this is a fantastic album, and with less of the year in front of us rather than behind, likely to top a lot "best of" lists.

Performance: 9
Songwriting: 9
Originality: 8
Production: 9


Band profile: Mar De Grises
Album: Streams Inwards


 



Written on 03.09.2010 by
BitterCOld
BitterCOld has been officially reviewing albums for MetalStorm since 2009.
More reviews by BitterCOld ››



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Troy Killjoy - 03.09.2010 at 07:43  
Agreed, agreed, agreed. Nice review!
Daniell - 03.09.2010 at 12:09  
Good thing I didn't review this one. I'd probably end up giving it a 10 and I wouldn't hear the end of it again, just like with Nevermore

Great review of a great album by the way
kaoskrew - 03.09.2010 at 13:13  
I'm in total agreement...great review.:D
Got Mayhem? - 03.09.2010 at 13:46  
Sounds sweet, can't wait to hear it for myself.
InnerSelf - 03.09.2010 at 15:17  
Great review ... puts me in the right mood to hear the album
Carl Berg - 03.09.2010 at 17:28  
I gotta get this.
Daydream Nation - 03.09.2010 at 17:56  
Stunning review...I will check this baby out and get back to you all.
Ag Fox - 03.09.2010 at 19:22  
Damn, your review got me so excited XD
dismaleuphony - 04.09.2010 at 03:49  
Yes, "A Sea Of Dead Comets" really takes the listener to another level I also enjoy "The Bell and the Solar Gust" a lot as well. There's just so many ideas going on in this album, yet MdG makes it all coherent and expansive. Great review!
Merchant of Doom - 04.09.2010 at 12:39  
Yes, many ideas, but on the usual lines... I was a bit disappointed the progress wasn't more radical, although, IMO, they are verging on the post-metal now...
Edmund Fogg - 04.09.2010 at 23:40  
Sounds good.But it seems like one of those bands where you really have to invest your time in listening.And nowadays,it sucks,but not a lot of people take the time to do that
advent - 17.09.2010 at 03:20  
Written by Merchant of Doom on 04.09.2010 at 12:39

Yes, many ideas, but on the usual lines... I was a bit disappointed the progress wasn't more radical, although, IMO, they are verging on the post-metal now...

yup and i didn't like their songwriting ,it's somehow poor
InnerSelf - 17.09.2010 at 16:05  
Written by advent on 17.09.2010 at 03:20

Written by Merchant of Doom on 04.09.2010 at 12:39

Yes, many ideas, but on the usual lines... I was a bit disappointed the progress wasn't more radical, although, IMO, they are verging on the post-metal now...

yup and i didn't like their songwriting ,it's somehow poor


I don't think it's poor it is rather radical as Merchant of Doom said above , it always takes time to get into their albums but here it was made easier , somehow more accessible than Draining the Waterheart
lord artan - 18.09.2010 at 22:12  
I can be your sun
Or just a beggar
But still,
I undo myself....
Oh God...Great album.I Love This Album...Majestic...Mystery...And Poetic
Is futile to continue Speeches...
hadriel - 25.09.2010 at 01:29  
Great review, amazing album. Best of the year by a long-shot so far.
Susan - 30.11.2010 at 05:00  
Finally I got ahold of this album and it's more beautiful than I could have imagined. Great review, I totally agree when you talk about the otherworldly aura and capturing multiple emotions. I don't find any of their texture changes abrupt, but you're so right they can be drastic at times.

"The album is dubbed Streams Inwards, yet will leave the listener floating outward."

Ahhh, yes. Yes, yes, yes
Darkside Momo - 06.12.2010 at 00:29  
Finally listened to it, and yes, great album, great review. I didn't get into Draining The Waterheart, but this one was an instant hit (even if I still have things to discover with future listens, I'm sure)
Mr. Doctor - 06.12.2010 at 12:46  
Written by Darkside Momo on 06.12.2010 at 00:29

I didn't get into Draining The Waterheart


What was the problem?
Darkside Momo - 06.12.2010 at 16:00  
Written by Mr. Doctor on 06.12.2010 at 12:46

Written by Darkside Momo on 06.12.2010 at 00:29

I didn't get into Draining The Waterheart


What was the problem?

Dunno. It just didn't click at all...
Marcel Hubregtse - 08.12.2010 at 20:40  
Been relistening it again a couple of time. And I gotta say esily the single best metal album the year, bar none.
MechanisT - 29.12.2010 at 21:00  
Excellent album, it must be said. Loving "Shining Human Skin" at the moment...
Good review.
MétalNoir - 05.04.2011 at 16:48  
Excellent band for those who don't usually like Doom metal. Their music is so awesome it should touch every metalhead's sensibility.

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