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Marianas Rest - Ruins Award winner

Marianas Rest
Ruins
by Justin "Witty City" Wittenmeier at 10 April 2019, 11:45 AM

MARIANAS REST is a Melodic Doom/Death Metal band from Finland.  Their new full length, “Ruins,” is their second album and they have also released a demo after forming in 2013.  They have a very seamless sound—the Doom blends in expertly with the MDM, creating a concoction of sharp clean tones and a melancholic atmosphere that lends itself to both amazing melodies and stark sorrow.

At times, their style is almost classical; the intro moments to the first track, “Kairos”, with the violin is sweeping and really works well by pushing the song into the Metal portion.  Soon we are introduced to vocalist Jaako, who performs Death growls with a very searing edge.  He takes an extreme approach but it helps the band do what they do best on this album: conjure up images and get the imagination going.   “Kairos,” put inside my head a scene of a derelict ship off the coast of frozen waters, waiting to be abandoned by the humans inside but to be filled with ghosts of those who don’t make it.  As a writer, a band’s music making my head fire up ideas within me is the best compliment I could ever give a band or album.

I wouldn’t call it true ambient but “Ruins” does contain many passages of very sparse, clean melodies among the Doom, like scattered stars that poke out among the sky on a cloudy night.  The second track, “The Spiral,” begins with light acoustic guitar and a little further in keyboards sprinkle their magic on top of the heavy riffs. Aapo really understands how to best use keyboards, his music constantly finding just the right spot to shine a light upon the songs.  The last few minutes of “The Spiral,” is truly magical:  mostly instrumental section of the song, all the instruments compliment each other and form one long movement. The band isn’t afraid to up the intensity on their Melodic Doom; “Hole In Nothing,” is very abrasive, guitarist Nico and Harri laying down sweltering riffs with a touch of melody throne in to offset the rather intense double bass from Nico Heininen.

Just over the halfway point, we get to my favorite track of the album, “Unsinkable.”  It has moments of both pure intensity and restrain, a perfect Doom track that has everything I could ever want in a song. Lindman’s bass is on point throughout the track, providing everything from melody to a battering ram.

The final track, “Omega,” is the longest at almost nine minutes.  It has an eerie beginning, complete with spoken word Death vocals.  The music is focused on the keys during these moments, adding a poem like quality to the song.  The middle of the song is stuffed with guitar solos, very moving and proficient. MARIANAS REST is a band I haven’t heard before this promo came to me but I’m so glad it did— “Ruins” is a stellar example of how the depressing atmosphere of Doom can still be epic and melodic by using MDM, without sacrificing any of either sub genre’s tropes in the process.  Highly recommend and no doubt this will land on a lot of Doom and MDM’s “Best of” lists by the end of the year.

Songwriting: 10
Originality: 10
Memorability: 10
Production: 10

5 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Kairos
2. The Spiral
3. Hole In Nothing
4. The Defiant
5. Unsinkable
6. Shadows
7. Restitution
8. Omega
Lineup:
Nico Heininen – Drums
Nico Manttari – Guitars
Harri Sunila – Guitars
Aapo Koivisto – Keyboards
Jaakko Mantymaa – Vocals
Niko Lindman – Bass
Record Label: Inverse Records
     


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