Marianas Rest – Fata Morgana

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For many years now I believe that atmospheric doom/death metal is able to give you emotions that no other subgenre of the extreme sound can. It had, has and will have a very special place in my playlists. That’s why before I listened to this work, I was very impatient seeing that Marianas Rest belong in this genre.

A band that I had heard from their previous, second, full-length album “Ruins” of 2019 but never dedicated time to them. Now, with the third complete album in their discography, the sextet from Finland didn’t make the difference. My initial excitement was washed away.

And it’s not that they aren’t good in this. Their music has the darkness and melancholy it needs. The rhythms are almost exclusively doom with minimal outbursts of aggression. Also, despite the long durations, the different ideas they put in their songs help the material so that it does not sound monotonous and repetitive. The keyboards of Aapo Koivisto (also in Omnium Gatherum) build nice atmospheres in which the cello of guest Timo Virkkala is a perfect addition.

The point, however, is that nothing remained in my mind and it didn’t create the emotions I mentioned above. Their dark and melancholic melodies have nothing special and pass without making the difference, with the guitar work of Nico Miconttäri and Harri Sunila standing out only in the self-titled song. On top of all that, Jaakko Mäntymaa’s vocals are a big disadvantage of the album for me.

This is because he uses a lot of screams that do not combine well with the final result. His growls are nice, the interesting whispering ones that he uses show a variety, but the screams really break any connection with the rest of the music since they mostly belong to depressive black metal. However, they had a nice idea to call Lindsay Schoolcraft (ex-Cradle Of Filth) to participate in a few clean female vocals.

“Fata Morgana” is almost an hour long and despite the…complaints I have from it, it didn’t get me bored. It reminded me mostly of the mighty Swallow The Sun and less of the titanic Draconian. But I would not choose to listen to it again and the reasons are the ones I mentioned above. It didn’t “speak” to me as I would like from this specific subgenre.