Saturday, November 8, 2008

Marsh - Life's Contradiction...

Marsh is a relatively new black metal project from the Minneapolis, Minnesota. Don't groan just yet though, as Marsh isn't just some plain old bedroom BM band that sticks to one repetitive formula; there's a huge range of variation as far as the individual songs are concerned: music ranges from mellow instrumentals to harsher, rawer BM straight through to industrial ambient music.

Guitars, of course, play the main part of the music. They have a fuzzy, blurred sort of quality, while still managing to convey riffs and intended atmosphere effectively. The riffs have a sort of ambient quality, which works well for the mellow songs and doesn't hinder the faster songs. The production suits the music reasonably well; everything has a muffled, raw sound quality (especially the drums), similar to Blasphemy on 'Fallen Angel of Doom'. While this production works great for the harsh songs, it can detract slightly from the mellower songs. Vocals sound absolutely tormented. There is one main vocal style, a throat tearing shriek that usually turns up for the more aggressive tracks. The drums know their place in the music; there is no attempt at any technical wankery, mainly just rhythmic snare and bass patterns, as well as the odd blast-beat, to give the music a backbone.

Apart from the more conventional black metal styles played here, there are also a few trippy ambient/industrial style tracks that utilize cavernous reverb to great effect. These tracks serve well to break up the black metal songs and to further increase the diversity of the album. The great thing about Life's Contradiction... is that while the music played cover pretty much the whole black metal spectrum (in a generic sense), making this album easily accessible for any BM fan.

If you've become a bit disillusioned with newer BM bands popping up and playing generic garbage, then checking out Marsh might be a good idea. Marsh is definitely worth keeping an eye on, simply for the sheer amount of possibilities that the diversity of Life's Contradiction... presents.