The self-titled debut EP from Toronto, ON-based post-metal/sludge act Pale Mare contains three songs of utter heaviness. Filled with dense, High On Fire-style groove-laden riffs, the release combines crushing aggression with doomy rhythms and harsh noisy soundscapes.
"Carthage" starts the EP off with a torrent of muddy guitars and rapid drumming before slowing things down slightly and incorporating some trippy melodies. "Descolada" follows suit but slows the pace. The track features fuzzy riffs, crashing drums and epic bass lines intertwining with spacey tones, blazing guitar leads and hoarse, Matt Pike-esque vocals. At seven minutes, "Hoplite" is the longest of the three tracks and it's also the most dynamic, starting with some corrosive feedback that leads into an upbeat headbang-worthy rhythm that juxtaposes the song's gloomy atmosphere.
The EP is super heavy on the distortion and has an extremely raw sound throughout, yet it's well-executed. It's an extremely solid debut and an indicator of great things to come; Pale Mare are definitely a band to keep an eye on. (Medusa Crush Recordings)