Mares Of Thrace     

The Pilgrimage
Sonic Unyon Metal
2012

On their sophomore effort, Mares of Thrace create an album whose beauty resides in its grotesqueness.  It is an album of monstrous and doomy proportions.  Taking the biblical story of David and Bathsheba and turning it on its ear, The Pilgrimage is a sensual and bestial album.  The album opener, David Glimpses Bathsheba belts out massive riffs and rabid vocals and then shifts into a lurching, swaying pace.  The Pragmatist launches into hardcore riffs but quickly morphs into bizarre swirls and doom-ridden accents for a composition that leaves you ravages and shaken.  Weaving elements of post-hardcore, doom and old-fashioned metal bludgeoning The Gallwasp begins with calm, distorted baritone guitar and then creeps towards monolithic obscenities of guitar and drum.  Stuttering drums and queerly undulating riffs spasm into shards of disharmony on the Perpetrator.  Bursts of black metal blast beats and post-hardcore rhythms clash as the track develops.  Triple B is an unsettling wave of fuzzed out noise and tribal sounding beats.  They lead directly into the plodding nightmare of The Goat Thief.  Funeral textures and a minimalist beat coalesce into a terrifying version of Earth.  Then the track explodes into maliciously engaging riff patterns that leave you spellbound only to collapse once again into the sparse doom that painted the early stages of the song.  Stark, nocturnal grief leaves the Three-Legged Courtesan bathed in pale, night light.  Feelings of nostalgia swell within me as the opening notes shimmer delicately in that thin illumination.  And The Bird Surgeon brings these proceedings to a close on a somber, sober note.  Riffs that eat away at the listener while the composition seems to reluctantly move towards an abyssic and nearly ambient climax.  Feedback and whispers feed off of each other before intensity and emotion grip the song like a death spasm.  Mares of Thrace have written an album that captivates and demolishes the listener all at once.  It is emotional and scarred at the same time.  The Pilgrimage will cast down your walls and smash you into rubble.