Mare - Ebony Tower review



Reviewer:
8.0

19 users:
7.58
Band: Mare
Album: Ebony Tower
Release date: August 2018


01. Flaming Black Zenith
02. Blood Across The Firmanent
03. These Foundations Of Darkness
04. Nightbound
05. Labyrinth Of Dying Stars


What was the longest time a band waited to release its debut full-length? And I mean active time, none of that break-up and reunion thing? 8 years? 10? What about 12? Well Mare have been cooking Ebony Tower for 15 fucking years.

Have you heard of the term Nidriosian black metal before? Don't worry; me neither... unless you did, in which case 100 kvlt points to you. Supposedly it's a black metal scene from the completely "unexpected" country of Norway, mostly around Trondheim, whose medieval name was Niðaróss, so that makes sense, I guess. While the sound isn't that out-of-the-box for Norwegian black metal, what sets this scene apart is its emphasis on ritualistic themes and atmospheres. Chant-y types, like Mayhem's stuff with Attila in a way. Speaking of Mayhem, can you guess which city the cathedral from the De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas is from?

The only other Nidriosian black metal band I knew beforehand was Vemod, because I had seen them live at a festival, and I was completely entranced by their music at first. But even though I absolutely loved how they sounded, halfway through their set they sounded too much like a one-trick pony. Why am I talking about Vemod right now? Because the vocalist and guitarist of Mare is the guitarist/drummer and vocalist of Vemod as well. But the scene is so interconnected that pretty much every member is a member of at least one other band like Dark Sonority, Black Majesty, Kaosritual, One Tail, One Head or Ritual Death. So now, finally, Ebony Tower.

Mare certainly didn't rush out Ebony Tower, if it wasn't clear from my opening line. Their latest EP release was eight years ago. And with the cult following they've made since, they made sure Ebony Tower would be a grandiose album, which can be seen looking at the track list. With most of the songs breaking the 8-minute mark, it's quite obvious that the album leans more towards creating atmosphere, mostly revolving the songs around a few mid-paced riffs. But even if the riffs themselves aren't especially technical, I can't help but appreciate the drumming as well, which feels much less repetitive than the already not-that-repetitive-but-still-repetitive guitars and bass, the latter of which also deserves some praise for giving the album a bit of an esoteric punch. Last but not least, the vocals are less of the shrieky kind and more of the cleaner and chant-y kind, which, along with the occasional supporting keyboard, really helps build the esoteric and ritualistic feel of the album.

By now, you should know what to expect from Mare and the Nidriosian scene if you were as unfamiliar with them as I was. If you were already familiar and were just looking to see if the full-length would fulfill its potential, I'm not sure what to tell you. I feel like Ebony Tower is nothing too mind-blowing or anything, but if it helps shed some light on some interesting scenes in Norway that aren't entirely derivative, it's more than welcome. I know I'm gonna look more into it. Maybe you should, too.


 



Written on 10.11.2018 by My opinion is objective, sorry if you don't agree, but you're wrong.


Comments

Comments: 8   Visited by: 63 users
11.11.2018 - 17:23
Maco
Carnivore
It's a really good album indeed, it's been hyped asf in forums like NWN. The EP is much better I think tho.
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Fuck what you think is correct and righteous.
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11.11.2018 - 17:26
RaduP
CertifiedHipster
Written by Maco on 11.11.2018 at 17:23

It's a really good album indeed, it's been hyped asf in forums like NWN. The EP is much better I think tho.

I gotta get into the EPs too, and also into some of the other bands in the scene. Head One Tail, One Head also released an album in the last months, so I may or may not review that as well
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Okay, this is epic!
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11.11.2018 - 17:38
Maco
Carnivore
Written by RaduP on 11.11.2018 at 17:26


Norway has a scene of underground black metal bands that sound way too different from the second wave.
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11.11.2018 - 17:39
RaduP
CertifiedHipster
Written by Maco on 11.11.2018 at 17:38

Written by RaduP on 11.11.2018 at 17:26


Norway has a scene of underground black metal bands that sound way too different from the second wave.

Usually people would rather hear new BM from more "exotic" countries like Iceland or Poland, I'm glad Norway didn't get stuck on Norsecore and Sympho stuff
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Okay, this is epic!
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11.11.2018 - 17:41
Maco
Carnivore
Written by RaduP on 11.11.2018 at 17:39

Usually people would rather hear new BM from more "exotic" countries like Iceland or Poland, I'm glad Norway didn't get stuck on Norsecore and Sympho stuff

Iceland has a strong scene, but it's not THAT great, they don't deserve the hype. Poland is one of the most overrated countries for modern black metal out there. I'll stick with the U.S, Marcel's land, France and even Sweden.
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Anti-PC
Fuck what you think is correct and righteous.
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11.11.2018 - 17:46
RaduP
CertifiedHipster
Written by Maco on 11.11.2018 at 17:41

Iceland has a strong scene, but it's not THAT great, they don't deserve the hype. Poland is one of the most overrated countries for modern black metal out there. I'll stick with the U.S, Marcel's land, France and even Sweden.

I'm still waiting for Botswanian black metal
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Okay, this is epic!
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11.11.2018 - 17:48
Maco
Carnivore
Written by RaduP on 11.11.2018 at 17:46

I'm still waiting for Botswanian black metal

One day latin america will stop worshipping the old bands and start to play a sound of their own :p
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Fuck what you think is correct and righteous.
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11.11.2018 - 17:49
RaduP
CertifiedHipster
Written by Maco on 11.11.2018 at 17:48

One day latin america will stop worshipping the old bands and start to play a sound of their own :p

I can't imagine south american metal that isn't extremely satanic and filthy
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Okay, this is epic!
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