Monday, August 15, 2016
Marsh Dweller : "the Weight of Sunlight"
Here's an Ohio based project that has been getting a fair amount of buzz in recent days. I suppose at it's core it's black metal in the same way Agalloch is black metal. This is another one man band, though John Kerr gets a little help from his friends as a couple take care of the guitar solos, bass and samples. The black metal is dialed back in a direction leaning more towards the kind of epic mid paced folk that bands like Moonsorrow have mastered. The production is no where as big as Moonsorrow. The project's strength is the love the songs are given. They are thoughtfully arranged and engaging. This is not the blackest or heaviest, but has a lot of heart and the guest guitar solos are very tasteful in the same manner Agalloch's hints into shredding were.
The songs are well written no sprawling pieces of drone. The drums have a very raw feel to them, they are a little on the dry side sonically. "Where the Sky Ends" is more black metal than the previous song. The rasped mid ranged vocals are plenty angry. Despite the acoustic break in the song it feels like it stays in the same relentless energy through out the song, making it less dynamic than "the Dull Earth". There is more of a thrashing gallop to "Monumental Collapse". I am not a big of the really stiff snare pop that has a more punk feel to me, but the guitar solo is great. "Empty Light of Heaven" is more of an interlude than a song. There is a more mainstream metal groove to the epic build of "Forks of the River". There is a low sung chanted vocal that swells up from behind the guitars.
"Feathers on the Breath of God" takes what has worked before on this album and ties it up neatly in a well composed song. It's black metal and blasty without burning you out on all the conventional trappings of black metal heard from hundreds of other bands. The album ends with another instrumental, which tempers atmosphere with the more traditional metal attack. It feels more like an outro that something standing alone. I'll give this album an 8.5, didn't really compel me to load onto my iPod as a must have, but it did remind me what I miss about Agalloch. This is still a fine album, for someone who is looking to replace the void left by Agalloch or is too young to even know who the hell Agalloch is and just getting into metal.