MARE  self-titled (2016 Repress)  12"   (Hydra Head)   18.98

Still sought after by many fans of contempo avant-metal, Mare's sole release from around a decade ago is once again back in stock here at C-Bast; here's the old review of this record from when we originally listed it years ago:

This is the latest vinyl edition of Mare's masterpiece, released in 2016 in a letterpress sleeve by Hydra Head and pressed on a mix of black, blue, and clear vinyl in a limited edition of eight hundred copies - we can't guarantee which color you'll get, but feel free to request it if you're looking for a particular color from this run, and I'll see what I can do). And yeah, still as essential now as it was then.

Mare wasn't around for long. They came out of nowhere in 2004 with this four-song, 25 minute mini-album that was one of my favorite releases for the year, and then broke up about two years later without putting out anything else. I was heartbroken when they announced that Mare was kaput, as I had been desperately waiting for a full length from the band, having worn out my copy of the EP on disc. But these four songs are still breathtaking whenever I throw them on, a spellbinding sort of ethereal avant-metal, with sudden angular riffs as crushing as anything from Isis or Neurosis, but which appear alongside these immensely beautiful passages of somber post-rock beauty closer to Sigur Ros than anything else, blips of darkly luminescent jazz, bursts of devastating, floor-caving doom/sludge riffs, gorgeous 20th century choral music, crushing mutant metalcore. But what really make these songs so magical to me is the voice of Tyler Semrick-Palmateer, who had previously been the frontman for Relapse tech-metallers The End. You've got to hear his vocal harmonies on this, they're stunningly beautiful harmonies that have been likened to the sort of lush vocals that the Beach Boys perfected, if you can imagine it. When those heavenly multi-part vocal harmonies glide seamlessly into a monstrous slo-mo doom riff that opens up like a sinkhole, the effect is riveting.