MARIANAS REST - Fata Morgana (Napalm Records)

  Van Muylem    12 maart 2021

Emerging from the Finnish coastal town of Kotka, melodic death metal strikers MARIANAS REST unleash their third studio album, Fata Morgana, on March 12, 2021 via Napalm Records – laying a brutal yet gloomy veil of melancholy over the world. They are offering intense melodic death metal spiced with significant doom elements and breathes an overall lyrical theme of the dark aspects of life with every note.

Founded in 2013, and after releasing their debut Horror Vacui (2016) and critically acclaimed successor Ruins (2019), the six piece with Jaakko Mäntymaa on vocals and Omnium Gatherum’s Aapo Koivisto on keys showcases a true virtuosity of heavy riffs, hypnotizing soundscapes and impetuous tempo-changes on its new piece of art. The eight-song epos delivers atmospheric melodies that are as endless and fascinating as the overwhelming beauty of Finnish nature, which tracks like the expressive “The Weight” or authentic “Pointless Tale” are evidence of. Topped by guest appearances of Timo Virkkala, who shares his awesome cello magic, and the bewitching backing vocals of Lindsay Matheson/Schoolcraft (ex-Cradle Of Filth), MARIANAS REST take their creative output to the next level and make Fata Morgana a must-have for fans of bands like Insomnium and My Dying Bride. This melodically-grasped melancholy is produced by Teemu Aalto (Insomnium, Omnium Gatherum) and MARIANAS REST, recorded and mixed by Teemu Aalto at Teemu Aalto Music Productions and mastered by Svante Forsbäck at Chartmakers, who received a Grammy nomination with Candlemass feat. Tony Iommi for Best Metal Performance.

So far the intro and the obligatory promo talk. I liked a video I shared, got contacted by the label if I wanted to review it. Passed it on to my son (12 years old and fan of metal music, with a focus on good male vocals) and asked him: do you like it? He did and that got me into this review. Doom metal is not my cup of tea, but I give them a shot.

Sacrificial starts slowly with a gloomy and dark feel followed by high screaming and a typical doom guitar sound. The deep growls and heavy and deep vocals remind me a bit of Draconianand Red Moon Architect (two band I really love withing this genre). I can feel how passionate Jaakko’s vocals sound. Glow From The Edge has some spoken words part in it, just as some angelic singing done by Lindsay. Pointless Tale mixes screams, grunts and clean vocals with a deep feel of melancholia, desperation and rage. The tempo is what you get with a typical doom metal track. The song is melodic and even has some heavenly passages. The Weight sounds heavy in an emotional way, with now and then some sharp screaming. You will also hear some heavenly vocals done by Lindsay.Horrokseen is the shortest track on the album and gets carried away by the cello. There are some vocals in it, but when you are used to hear long songs it’s a bit strange and you loose track of time and have to go back and forth to this short one to notice it completely. The title track Fata Morgana will literally suck you into their dark world, with now and then some time to grasp some breath. It’s dark and sounds very angry and powered up, like as if a wolfpack is ready to attack you and shred the flesh of your bones. The cello gives it a melancholic touch. Advent of Nihilism is an epic doom metal track with halfway a cool guitar solo and a nice wall of sound. South of Vostok starts softly, until the vocals jump in and we get the typical doom metal sound. It’s a good end, almost taking us to a high.

Well: I don’t regret listening nor reviewing this album. It’s clear that this band deserves a place in our spotlights! I hope you enjoy this trip as much as I did.

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