The Mire
Glass Cathedrals
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As any metalhead will tell you, one of the eminently satisfying things about being a metalhead is discovering an excellent band that no one else has heard. For me, one of those bands was The Mire. Those who were fortunate enough to hear the band’s Volume II EP from 2010 were treated with a surprisingly competent album of heavy hardcore/sludge and harmonized clean vocals. This album, their first full-length, solidifies what the band previously demonstrated to be a unique, emotional take on the genre.

The album opens with the toll of bells, commencing of the funeral of hope. The strongest standout feature is the vocals, which provide standard hardcore yells, some gang shouts, but also beautifully layered, textured harmonies. Mare did this sort of thing too, but The Mire handles it so much better. Over the course of the album, this becomes a trademark, but The Mire is more than a one-trick pony. The band provides a solid mixture of post-hardcore/sludge that pays tribute to Isis and Neurosis without coming off as contrived, with some subtle mathy/progressive precision and syncopation, reminiscent of early Intronaut or (vaguely) Meshuggah.

The album splits neatly into two parts. Halfway through, the title track provides a quiet, still center around which the album turns. Not since Ulver‘s “Eos” have I heard a band evoke such power with simplicity. The softly melding chords and the repetitious use of simile–comparing hopes, dreams, the world, and your heart, all in turn, to a glass cathedral–is meditative and heartbreaking, a truly luminous moment.

The album steps resignedly back into the barrage of doom. Broken by the weight of these desolate revelations, the band churns out a final trio of dirges. There is more than just heaviness going on here. This is tragedy: the desolate end to a fruitless search for redemption.

In a year that’s sure to be dominated at least in part by powerful sludge releases (Lord Mantis, Coffinworm, and Thou to name a few), this album makes it easy to root for the little guy. This release should spell the end of The Mire‘s status as an unsigned and relatively unknown band. A rare and phenomenal album.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by J. D. Anderson
June 3rd, 2014

Comments

  1. Commented by: Jesse Wolf

    fuck ya. i reviewed there last ep. i will be jamming this soon.


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