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Mare Infinitum : Alien Monolith God

Mare Infinitum's sophomore soundscapes of atmosphere and emotion encase us in an aura of pure cosmic serenity.

When Solitude Productions puts out a new release, I'd like to think that fans of the darker doom element pay attention. Especially when that release happens to be Mare Infinitum's follow up to 2011's Sea Of Infinity. For myself (and presumably many others), this was a much anticipated album of 2015, and rightfully so; it's an outright doom masterpiece.

Recently, a friend and I were discussing the curse of the dreaded "sophomore slump"; where a band's second release ends up being so inferior in artistic ingenuity to their masterful debut that they fail to ever recover from the shame of that subpar output. However, this phenomenon, thankfully, occurs much less often these days. This could be in part to bands being allotted more time between releases to fine tune their songs. The requirement of putting a full-length album out every 6 months to a year has now become every 2-3 years (sometimes even longer). Or it could simply be the case that the bands and producers in the current metal scene have their act together. With Mare Infinitum able to boast a studio and live lineup consisting of members of Who Dies In Siberian Slush, Comatose Vigil and Abstract Spirit, we can expect good things.

While a slight departure from their mostly Funeral Doom based debut, Mare Infinitum's Alien Monolith God stands alone as one of the most powerful pieces of Atmospheric Doom/Death in the last few years. Guest vocalist, Ivan Guskov rejoins the band, this time as a full-fledged member. Guskov brings a strong Power Metal style that is reminiscent of Into Eternity without the higher, soaring vocals. I'm even reminded somewhat of Rob Halford's mid-range. The contrast of Gustov's cleans with A. K. iEzor's growls works extremely well. iEzor (Andrey Karpukhin of Comatose Vigil fame), could very well be one of, if not the best Funeral and Doom/Death vocalists around. His lows are not only deep and guttural, but smooth and articulated to a degree that I find astounding. Pairing these two powerful voices was a move in the right direction for the development of the band's unique and personal sound.

But of course, the musical prowess does not end with the vocals. Homer (Georgiy Bykov formerly of Who Dies In Siberian Slush) ensures that the overall musicianship of the album remains impeccable. The guitar work is top-notch; having a clear yet thick tone that provides pounding “head banging” riffs one minute and smooth, trance provoking melodies the next. The drums are a solid timekeeper throughout with minimal yet strategically placed technical nuances. From the opening riff of the Lovecraft inspired “The Nightmare Corpse-City of R'lyeh” to the final passages of “The Sun That Harasses My Solitude”, we are assaulted with sonic waves of well executed compositions. Rich soundscapes of atmosphere and emotion encase us in an aura of pure cosmic serenity. Long, drawn out instrumental pieces abound. Yet the album ceases to lose momentum, as it becomes immediately obvious that these musicians wrote and arranged every note with serious intention.

Alien Monolith God is not only a superb creation and a must have for any Doom aficionado, but it also has the potential of becoming an instant classic. After all, the cover art depicts an enormous asteroid colliding with the earth, which is exactly what it's like to experience this album. Of all the great releases of 2015, Mare Infinitum should easily be in the top ten. This, my fellow doomsters, is a work of pristine and epic proportions.

Doom on!

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Reviewer's rating: 10/10


Tracklist :
1. The Nightmare Corpse-City of R'lyeh
2. Prosthetic Consciousness
3. Alien Monolith God
4. Beholden The Unseen Chapter 2
5. The Sun That Harrasses My Solitude

Duration : Approx. 56 minutes

Visit the Mare Infinitum bandpage.

Reviewed on 2016-01-23 by Chris Hood
A Dream Of Poe - The Wraith Uncrowned
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