Album in Review: MARIANAS REST – Fata Morgana
Seemingly out of nowhere comes one of the best Death Doom bands on the scene today in Finlands MARIANAS REST. Founded in 2013, and after releasing their debut “Horror Vacui” (2016) and critically acclaimed successor “Ruins” (2019), the six piece with Jaakko Mäntymaa on vocals and Omnium Gatherum’s Aapo Koivisto on keys release their third full-length “Fata Morgana” on the powerhouse that is Napalm Records. After listening to their previous albums it’s a wonder why these guys haven’t been picked up by a bigger label like Napalm earlier. Clearly this band is doing something right and deserves to be heard by the masses, which hopefully is the case now. The album was released in March 2021 and was expertly produced by Teemu Aalto (Insomnium, Omnium Gatherum) and features guest vocals from Lindsay Schoolcraft (Cradle of Filth).
After reading the description of this band from Napalm’s press release I clicked on the video for “Glow From the Edge” in the link and was hooked instantly. This genre has been one this writer has been really loving and diving into deep the last few years and I’m so glad this band is now on my radar. What these guys offer is meat and potatoes Death Doom and their ain’t nothing wrong with that. The band showcases a true mastery of heavy riffs, hypnotizing soundscapes, and time-changes that keep these songs fresh and interesting throughout. The songs are pretty slowly paced yet mightily epic with many peaks and valleys throughout each song. The lyrics are quite melancholic (as is the album tone in general), which is usually the standard with Death Doom bands, especially ones from Scandinavia. In the vocal department it’s straight death metal vocals, no back and forth with clean vocals like bands such as SWALLOW THE SUN and DRACONIAN (who’s male vocalist Anders Jacobsson is a good comparison), amongst others. My only minor musical gripe with this album is the drums. They are pretty basic and straightforward and while they do fit the songs well, I would prefer them having a little more variety and complexity. Still, a minor complaint. Hard to pick a standout track from this album but “Pointless Tale” is definitely a fun one that starts off pretty fast and has many twists and turns throughout. No filler on this album just perfect tunes that are flawlessly executed.
The band has released videos for the songs “Pointless Tale”, “South of Vostock”, and “Glow From the Edge”, along with a two part “Cabin Sessions”, which shows the band performing the whole album live from a remote cabin in Finland.
These guys definately deserve their day in the spotlight and I hope with Napalm Records behind them they ascend to the next level of top tier Death Doom bands because they definately are one of them. This band is not reinventing the wheel but is a solid addition to this genre of metal. So far this album is leading the pack for my album of the year and is a must for any fans of this style. Hoping for bigger things for this band and many more amazing albums.
Album Rating: 8.5/10