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Mar de Grises : Draining the Waterheart

Four years after 'The Tatterdemalion Express', Mar de Grises present their second album, entitled 'Draining the Waterheart'. I was very excited about this release, because the debut album was, and still is, one of my favourite metal albums of the decade. I'm very pleased to say that 'Draining the Waterheart' lives up to the quite high expectations I was having.

The style is immediately recognisable: a subtle blend of doom, death, and prog metal, with a strong emphasis on great melodies and dynamic songwriting. A track like 'Sleep Just One Dawn' should make clear that this album is back on the old track: a lot of variation in the melody and rhythm, and intriguing and heavy pieces. On the whole, this album perhaps has a bit less doom influences - at least, that's my feeling - but it works perfectly as a whole. 'Liturgia' has the most doomy atmosphere, slightly comparable to the funeralish 'El Otro' from the first album. The strength of MdG., however, lies in their unique blend of metal styles, and they utilise it to their full ability, mixing exciting rhythms, riffs, leads, bass, keys, and both growls and clean vocals.

There's not a single weak track on this one - nor was there on the last one - but my favourites at the moment would have to be tracks 1, 3, and 7. 'Fantasía' is a serene interlude, much like 'Self Portait no1' from 'The Tatterdemalion Express'.

The limited A5 edition of the album comes with an extra 3", containing the track 'Unconscious Passenger', a near 20 minute piece of ambient experimentation. The band shows that it's quite capable of exploring this area of music as well, for it's a beautiful track.

This is certainly not your average metal album, but if you enjoy a bit of genre blending, and just plain good modern metal songwriting, this is definitely among the top albums to check out this year. Highly recommended!

Reviewer's rating: Unrated


Tracklist :
1. Sleep Just One Dawn
2. Kilómetros de Nada
3. Deep-Seeded Hope Avant-Garde
4. Fantasía
5. Wooden Woodpecker Conversion
6. One Possessed
7. Summon Me
8. Liturgia; Convite y Prefiguración / Purgatorio / Diálogo Infierno

Bonus Track:

9. Unconscious Passenger

Duration : 81 minutes

Visit the Mar de Grises bandpage.

Reviewed on 15-05-2008 by Oscar Strik
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