Mare Infinitum - _Sea of Infinity_
(Solitude Productions, 2011)
by: Chaim Drishner (7 out of 10)
Released on the seam between 2011 and 2012, _Sea of Infinity_ is the creation of a couple of capable musicians hailing from two excellent bands I personally like very much, namely Who Dies in Siberian Slush and Abstract Spirit -- both Russian in origin and playing beyond-sombre, beyond-crushing doom/death and funeral doom, respectively. _Sea of Infinity_ is not essentially different, however it incorporates some emotional elements, such as clear vocals, that for the most part are alien to the original bands in which both musicians participate.

The music is straightforward melodic doom/death with clear funeral doom leanings; very linear and melodic, though heavy and dense. The guitars are ultra-fat and distorted to the maximum, and mostly play a constant rhythm matching the lyric lines mouthed by the growler -- and the Abstract Spirit guy sure knows a thing or two about guttural grunts.

The basic guitar/drums division is accompanied almost incessantly by massive keyboard work, that in itself might not offer the most original compositions out there, but coupled with the guitars and soul-shattering, almost primitive hammers of the skin (fortunately, a real drum kit is being used here), a sensual, gargantuan, almost religious atmosphere is thus constructed: sad, emotional, relentlessly dark and insidiously discouraging.

Whenever one least expects, a passage with almost clear vocals is introduced into this black mass of velvety black and deep purple clouds of emotion and terror, of beauty and degeneration. The slightly torturous vocals do break the overall mold for several seconds or more, summoning another dimension to the music, a more humane aspect to it, if you will. You may find these vocal lines misplaced in the beginning, but as the music crawls forward and pushes itself like a rolling thunder, you may instead find them a welcome addition; they sound desperate, downtrodden and hopeless.

Take Ea's highly melodic funeral doom and copulate it with Abstract Spirit's bone-crushing doom and there you go: Mare Infinitum's _Sea of Infinity_ in all its majestic beauty. This is by no means an essential album, however. It is a worthy addition to your doom collection nonetheless, but what's more, it is a worthy listening experience -- and an experience it unquestionably is, charged with some of the most beautiful tunes you will ever hear!


(article published 27/11/2012)

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