March 11, 2012 by hhbrady
Based out of Calgary, Alberta, Mares of Thrace is guitarist/vocalist Thérèse Lanz and drummer Stefani MacKichan. They play largely-improvised alterna-doom metal. The Pilgrimage tends to sound like a combination of Kylesa and Black Cobra.
Lyrically, there’s three acts, with subordinate tunes under them– we open with “Act I: David Glimpses Bathsheba,” and its lurching doom riffs, and there’s three tunes during that act; next we hit “Act II: Bathsheba’s Reply to David,” two more items of tunage, and then “Act III: A Curse Falls on the House of David,” which then finishes out with two more.
They’re pretty patently doom, which means (if you’re new to this site), they open with a fairly simple 3- or 4-note (not chord) riff, playing by itself for a while, drums come in, the riff changes to another 4 or so notes, and then we get a couple of chords with shrieked vocals over it.
Like most hardcore doom, it requires patience, and probably a handy supply of medical marijuana.
Overall? “The Gallwasp” is a pretty cool tune, with a somewhat-southern-rock-sounding riff during the doom-ness, “The Perpetrator” is nearly rock-like in its riffs (and totally works), “Act II…” opens with a generic but groovy open-note riff… “Act III” comes in fast and furious, laying down the forebeat before the largely-atmosphere “The Three-Legged Courtesan…” and finally the closer “…and the Bird Surgeon,” which rocks a cool, dissonant Pink Floyd on (more) acid riff.
Doomheads? You will need this album. Everyone else? Give and listen and dip your hammer, anvil and stirrup in….
[The Pilgrimage is released 4/24/12.]