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Mar De Grises - Streams Inwards CD (album) cover

STREAMS INWARDS

Mar De Grises

 

Experimental/Post Metal

3.34 | 10 ratings

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Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer
3 stars 'Streams Inwards' - Mar De Grises (6/10)

A Chilean doom metal band that has since risen to underground popularity for their epic and melancholic grandeur, Mar De Grises' latest offering is an anticipated dive into the proclaimed 'end of the world.' On top of their otherwise typical foray into the death/doom crossover genre, the band throws a amount of experimentation and progressive nature into their music very uncharacteristic of the style. With that being said, the 2010 album 'Streams Inwards' does go into further experimental depth than any of their previous work and the strength and emotive power of Mar De Grises is here to an extent, but it doesn't seem to quite reach the greatness and consistency of their previous work.

Anyone unfamiliar with this style of doom metal will be in for a real emotional kick in the groin. What Mar De Grises does very well (along with many of the other strong acts in the genre) is create a deep sense of beautiful sadness and despair with their music. While 'Streams Inwards' certainly breaks out of this emotional uniform more than the other albums, there are still parts where the listener gets the sense of overwhelming melancholy and defines many works of doom metal. As I've said however, 'Streams Inwards' does show quite a wider emotional dimension than much other doom metal. The moments of optimism however, are lodged between other sections of sadness. The chorus of the most memorable track here 'Shining Human Skin' for example, begins by leading the listener into the misconception that the music will stick to the melancholic norm, but the chorus section is finally resolved by a major chord, giving a shard of hope amidst what would otherwise be a purely sorrowful journey.

In terms of the experimentation Mar De Grises does with this album, there are some electronica sections here that are interspersed throughout the album. The most common of these electronic motifs takes the form of a very scratchy and dissonant sort of noise, which more often than not, finds it's way into sections of music that would have been probably quite a bit better off without the interference. However, 'Knotted Delirium' has a slowly building and unsettling section that makes good use of studio effects and haunting electronic ambiance.

The songwriting here is powerful, but quite inconsistent. The first two tracks are very powerful pieces that should make the death/doom community proud, they have an immensely epic feel to them, segue together almost seamlessly and have alot of purposeful songwriting thrown into a surprisingly short timeframe. By the third track 'The Bell & The Solar Gust' however, the tracks begin to have less impact to them, although the aforementioned song has among the best guitar riffs on the entire album. Next is 'Spectral Ocean,' which is the only song I could call 'unnecessary' here; it makes ample use of the unpleasant electronic noise and even as an interlude, doesn't feel like it goes anywhere. However, the sound reaches back to a strong sound with another highlight of the album, 'Sensing The New Orbit.'

'Streams Inwards' may not be as good as those expecting another excellent album were hoping for, but it stands it's ground for the most part as being a good album, with a handful of excellent songs and moments. With that in mind, the music of Mar De Grises is recommended to any fan of melancholic metal that wants a doomy soundtrack to the winter months.

Conor Fynes | 3/5 |

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