Marianas Rest – Ruins (Inverse Records)Monday, 18th March 2019
The soul-crushing sound of doom comes at you with full force with the return of Finland’s Marianas Rest. The band’s 2016 debut, Horror Vacui, showed them emerging as a promising new act and Ruins does nothing but back up that claim. Those who want a pure, gloomy experience should look no further.
Perpetually dark and dreary in tone, Ruins does enjoy its sorrow-filled but satisfying melodies. With the oppressive (but not overbearingly so) riffs that deftly meld the death and doom elements, it’s a familiar yet winning formula when these sort of melodies are inserted. There’s a sense of epic longing and yearning as a track like “The Spiral” weaves its way through both of these aspects. The keys play a major role in providing that feeling as well, with “Restitution” as a shining example of this, sitting nicely with the guitars for some sweeping moments of melody (an example of the album’s few triumphant/uplifting ones at that). With the melodies being the major force for the listener’s attention, there is still something to be said for the ominous riffs and sometimes cold atmosphere. “Shadows” is as chilling as the name provides, complete with slumbering riffs and near black metal vibes, and designs an enticing angle of bleakness. Rounding things out on vocals, it’s nice to hear a band like this that doesn’t just stick to the death growl/clean sung aesthetic. Instead some variation into the scream provide some needed variety, and some spoken word to provide a few moments of emphasis keep the momentum going.
Marianas Rest provide just as much death/doom flavor on their second release, and should be viewed as one of the up-and-comers worth getting to know in the genre. Ruins doesn’t do much that other band’s haven’t accomplished, but it knows the genre well and provides a pure feeling of melancholy that’s totally genuine.