Mar De Grises Stream Inwards

Mar De Grises Stream Inwards
Truly fantastic albums are few and far between, but 2010 has been kind enough to grace us with a number of them, particularly on the depressive end of things. Mar De Grises have been toiling in relative obscurity for some time, developing a unique take on death doom that freely incorporates progressive and ambient elements. Streams Inwards, while in some ways a departure, is the culmination of everything they've worked towards on two previous full-lengths. Featuring devastating production that effectively drowns the listener in reverb-laden, melancholic guitar interplay, while the drums alternately pummel and delicately accent the band's unpretentious, yet utterly compelling, structural nuances, there isn't a moment wasted across the record's 70-plus minutes. While superficial similarities to Opeth and Novembre are present, Mar De Grises are far less accessible, often working at a funereal pace, eschewing the former act's pomposity and the latter's gothic hooks. This leaves the atmosphere and heaviness to speak for themselves, and it's not long before opening number "Starkmaker" lays wastes to any preconceptions, burrowing its way into one's psyche, leaving the listener wide open to being slowly melted into a barely recognizable puddle of primordial doom by the time the album's ethereal final moments take their bow. Don't let Season of Mist's attempt at marketing this as "post-metal" fool you ― Strams Inwards is singularly unique while raising the bar for contemporaries, like comparably brilliant groups such as Swans or Anathema before them. Don't miss out. (Season of Mist)