Mares Of Thrace - The Pilgrimage
Canadian duo of guitarist/vocalist Thérèse Lanz and drummer Stefani MacKichan packs as much a punch as any metal or alt guitar-drum duo. But watch out: Mares of Thrace pack more wallop than any five guitar attack. "The Pilgrimage" is almost laughably heavy and gritty, a minor masterpiece of restraint and assault. This will bring a spontaneous smile to
the face of any fan of loud, cathartic and smart music.
They waste no time, with the screeching bottom heavy and punishing "Act I: David Glimpses Bathsheba;" this is Dio-influenced sludge, which obviously should not work, but does so perfectly. "The Pragmatist" is just over the top guitar goddess stuff; the massive tone of Lanz's guitar may be second only to Black Cobra's Jason Landrian. It just goes on and on at a blistering pace: the gritty crust with a deadly stabbing riff and raw throated vocals on "The Gallwasp;" "The Perpetrator," with two plus minutes of crust blended with subtle 80s metal guitar quotes; there is even the pretty much a straight-on electronic noise track "Triple B."
Mixing it up a bit, "The Three-Legged Courtesan... "features a minimal
slow brooding riff repeated over a muddy ambient wash, like a stroll through a
cemetery at night, and sober. The closer is a bit mixed, though: ". ...And the Bird Surgeon" is an epic in time-eight minutes plus-- if not in execution-they try to wrap things up with a track that covers all the sonic ground of the entire set, and it doesn't really ring true.
Mares of Thrace are not to be trifled with. "The Pilgrimage" is a hot, greasy set of smart, experimental sludge, and the glorious headache it provides the listener is one that will be willingly inducedagain and again. Now be a good masochist and get this one now.
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