MAR DE GRISES - Draining The Waterheart

Mar De Grises - Draining The Waterheart

8 songs
64:14 minutes
***** ***


Sharing the bass and a guitar player with fellow Chilean doomsters Mourning Lament, Mar De Grises are actually the band with the longer releasing history, making Draining The Waterheart their second longplayer after their debut The Tatterdemalion Express from 2004. Although not as uncompromising in their attitude, Mar De Grises are still firmly rooted in the death genre and prove enough experience to treat their audience with some of the most varied doom metal in ages. Combining doom and death metal with occasional touches of progressive and even post rock, this album conveys a morbid lushness that is not unlike Anathema a few years ago, although Mar De Grises are self-confident enough never to pass as a copy.

Apart from the short and quite experimental Fantasia, all the songs are at least six minutes long. The final Liturgia, a three-parted epic, even makes it to thirteen and a half minutes. Their music is slow, so it needs time to unfold, but there is always something happening: the guitars provide solemn rhythms and moving harmonies, the keyboards provide different moods without ever relying on cheap cheesy sounds. The rhythm section is solid, the vocals too, although the latter are quite typical for the genre.

I have been listening on and on for a week now to Draining The Waterheart. On the plus side, it is an album which grows on you. On the downside, it lacks special moments that make you look up in surprise. The CD entertains for more than an hour with high quality, melodic and atmospheric doom death metal, performed by an experienced band that convinces with excellent instrumentation and competent songwriting, but in the end, you’d wish for something more, because you get the feeling that true genius in lingering inside this South American band. Don’t get me wrong: Draining The Waterheart is not just a very good, but even a far above average album with enough substance to keep you occupied for quite some time, but with a little more experimentation and daring, Mar De Grises could very well shoot to the very top of the doom movement. You better look out for these guys!

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