Monday, September 9, 2019

EP Review: MĀRA "Therapy for an Empath" (Independent) by Ghoul Shadows

Band: MĀRA
Location: Riga
Country: Latvia
Genre: Death/thrash/groove metal
Label: Independent
Format: Digital, streaming
Release date: November 2, 2018
OK so I started off with listening to an album called “Therapy for an Empath” by MĀRA and I wasn’t sure what to expect. Couple of beeps that sound like someone was on their death bed and I’m like, “Ok, where is this going?” looking at some art work with the band and of a half/half faced woman – left side is a mess, crying etc. – right side is smiling and loving life. Ok, I am intrigued. A few seconds pass and the song (“Label Me Insane”) explodes through my shitty speakers and vomits forth heavy metal gold, yeah I dig it! It’s got fucking nice guitar riffs…. not just guitar riffs, FUCKING NICE guitar riffs. It’s like, you know when you are in a bar and you have had a hard day and the door to the bar opens and you look up from your miserable existence and there is this gorgeous woman who has walked in and immediately everything just gets washed away and you’re like, “Damn”. Yeah guitar and bass riffs like that. Blast beats from the drums and you have got something here. Double kicks to start even the most temperamental bike engine from kicking over. And those vocals – it is time to storm Valhalla, middle earth, heaven, hell AND my local corner store all at once. OK – I am hooked, fuck it - I like ‘em. This is new. New in the sense that it is original. It – it gives me the feeling that metal is going to survive and not become the tired repetitive crap you hear from every band. The next song, “Existential Survival” - BAM! Right on point again. Musicianship from all members. Yes, I will put a big ‘ol tick there. Next song: “Blame Shifter” – ok they are 3 for 3 so far – and I have not wanted to skip any tracks yet.
And so on and so on the trend continued with the rest of the album.
So the big questions – What did they do right? What did they do wrong and improve on?
What they did right was they did not just straight up copy any bands. I actually have a hard time pinning down who their influences are as I can hear a lot of influences from their music. Each song sounds different to each other. It’s fast. It’s brutal. It is just awesome to listen to. I am putting em in my playlists to listen to later.
What did they do wrong and improve on? All the songs are short. 4 minutes and 9 seconds is the longest one. Shortest is 3:02. Now this is nitpicking and although the shortness of the songs actually works in their favour as I want to listen to them again immediately – it would have been nice to do at least one song around the 8 – 10 min mark. Maybe something they are working on for the future? Let’s hope.
If you want new metal to listen to then this is the album for you. Stray away from those big corporate metal wanna be bands that bring nothing new to the table. These bands like MĀRA will take our spirits after death like the Latvian goddess she is and bring you to the next celestial realm of awesomeness. Support these ones. The ones who are making a difference.
Rating: 1000 spirits for one Latvian goddess. -Ghoul Shadows

Check out Ghoul Shadows’ horror stories at TALES OF THE TWISTED on Facebook and Wordpress.

Māra Lisenko: Vokills
Denis Melnik: Riffs
Dmitry Lisenko: Groove
Alberts Mednis: Gun-machine

Track list:
1. Label Me Insane
2. Existential Survival
3. Blameshifter
4. Sell Your Soul
5. Be-long Now-here

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