The Unsettling Dark
Martriden, "The Unsettling Dark"
Sometimes the best metal comes from the most unlikely places. For example, earlier I was working on a review for Taak, a KILLER traditional metal group with lots of doom influence and cult-ish organs from... Estonia? Along those same lines, The Unsettling Dark is a crushingly heavy, progressive, blackened death album from a band out of... Montana? Whodathunkit?
Martriden indeed hails from none other than The Treasure State, but their sound is something like melding the fierce melodicism and musicianship of the Euro scene with a uniquely American sense of pulverising power. I'm talking about Arsis and Rwake getting together to write the next Opeth album with Emperor supervising.
So yea, what we have here is 10 tracks of gloriously sweeping song structures laced with everything from techy, cyclic riffing, to chunky beatdowns to Mithras-like atmospherics and so on. I'm frequently reminded of a speedier, nastier version of Gojira. The sound is anchored by a MASSIVE drum perfomance. I say massive because despite being impressive from a technical standpoint, the sheer pummeling the drums offer is what really stands out in the performance. Of course, the crushing Dave Otero production job lends itself nicely to the band's sound.
Ever since the opening notes of Martriden's self-titled debut EP, I, like many others, have been frothing at the mouth to see what this young (all in their early 20's) band could do with a full-length. I'm not disappointed one bit. I know it's early (still only February), but I'm gonna go ahead and pencil this in on my best of 2008 list and barring a banner year, it will probably end up being written in a big fat black magic marker.
The Enigma of Fate