I know nothing about Maere so it was dive right in unprepared really. We get six tracks, kind of. First is an intro; slow, deep brooding with vague vocal sounds. Echoing, hollow and buzzing of the void. Nicely atmospheric it is brushed aside by a bjg dark death metal riff slamming down. It is ponderous with a hefty weight of doom and a little sludge in there. Rapid fire drumming and slow, guttural vocals press on. It feels more an announcement than track somehow, a bug “We are here…” that makes four and a half minutes seem like nine for me I’m afraid. Oh, it’s brutal, drilling down stuff to be sure and tight but neither dirty enough or off kilter enough to lead me anywhere.

Essentially the next track does the same. There’s a hint of discordancy but it sadly seems to go nowhere. Throughout this EP there are moments where quiet is used briefly or the space between chords makes way for some eerie single notes before the riffs avalanche back in.

It becomes apparent over repeated plays that this is squarely not my thing. It lacks the sense of tension and dynamics I get from say a doom/sludge band like Of Spire And Throne, and the sheer wrongness or a Portal. It also is not the kind of old school, bent, thick and loose Autopsy like death metal I like. Which is fine. I mean what it is, is perfectly well played and fairly relentless death metal. It comes out and bulldozes you for twenty odd minutes.

The thing is it just doesn’t engage me I’m afraid. I think this needs a death metal obsessive to dig out the nuances or just revel in the continually chugging riffs. Sadly it never lets me in.

Perfectly decent but I’ll pass.

(5/10 Gizmo)