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Marianas Rest - Fata Morgana (2021) - Review

Band: Marianas Rest
Album title: Fata Morgana
Release date: 12 March 2021
Label: Napalm Records
Genre: Atmospheric Doom Metal, Melodic Death Metal, Gothic Metal

Tracklist:
01. Sacrificial
02. Glow From The Edge
03. Pointless Tale
04. The Weight
05. Horrokseen
06. Fata Morgana
07. Advent Of Nihilism
08. South Of Vostok

A sweet void calls to embark on a sonic journey named Fata Morgana, right from the Finnish coastal town Kotka, inside into your heart and mind. Darkness and sorrow with a meticulous sense for warmth and intriguing melancholy is shining in this collection of eight evocative songs delivering one of a kind atmospheric, gloomy and melodic doom metal. Fata Morgana is the third full-length for Marianas Rest, and it marks the final part of the trilogy. The concept story is about a man who's losing himself in the modern world and has started with the debut album Horror Vacui (2016), continued on Ruins (2019) and has now reached the end. So, not only that the music of Marianas Rest is deep and immersive, as well the lyrics are meaningful and a must to read.

There's no arguing about the fact that Fata Morgana is Marianas Rest's best album so far. If compared to the previous two albums, it's more atmospheric, the melodies are more captivating, the overall ambience is gloomier, and even if there are only a few traces of death metal left, the music feels heavier. The album was produced in the same studio with the same producer as the album before, yet it sounds better because of a thicker and more powerful sound. The emotional intensity of compositions is menacingly crawling under your skin, and it flickers in your brain like the ominous story you don't want to end. Everything intensifies with additional soothing female backing vocals by Lindsay Schoolcraft (Antiqva, ex-Cradle Of Filth) and by magical sombre cello lines provided by Timo Virkkala.

Every single instrument and each vocal line in this masterpiece feels to be in the right place. Guitar lines are melodic and very heavy, while some short acoustic insertions allow the listener to take some breath. The driving riffs could remind to Insomnium and Sentenced, with poignant doomier parts in the vein of Paradise Lost, Draconian and My Dying Bride, yet with some explorations near to Katatonia or even Ghost Brigade. It rarely speeds up, but because of the crushing and catchy rhythmic lines, it feels very dense and the overall moody ambience gains another dimension thanks to the blistering gothic keyboards. Jaakko's singing style is quite an original one for this genre, and I can't find any comparisons. His voice is a mixture of screamed harsh vocals, deep growls and clean vocals at the same time. Sometimes at the border of black metal, sometimes at crossroads of metalcore and death metal, but don't get me wrong because it's far from being just that. His voice is dynamic, emotional, prominent and clear enough to understand. Thanks to some spoken words, certain ambient parts and interesting dramatic compositions, the sound is quite cinematic. The mesmerizing and evocative "South Of Vostok" and short intermezzo "Horrokseen" are both convincing proofs for that.  

The songs are often almost of epic proportions, like the expressive "The Weight", or the dramatic opener "Sacrificial", and it is impossible to point out to a specific song because each one takes its part in this unforgettable melancholic journey that has a high replay value. Still, I can't forget to mention the profound, fluctuating and mindblowing "Glow From The Edge" as one of the best songs ever made in the entire gloom & doom metal history. Marianas Rest songs are smooth and powerful, full of addictive depth and get stuck in your head for a long time. The listener can almost feel the northern coldness and inherited unique Finnish melodically-grasped melancholy. Marianas Rest made a stunning and remarkable album this time. Fata Morgana is made of sounds based on many elements from different gloomy metal genres. It's like a cohesive unity of turbulent and emotionally driven sounds. It's an album with enough power to wake up your inner ghosts and make you reflect on your life. The sextet makes art that shouldn't be missed by anyone who likes melancholic metal, atmospheric doom, melodic doom/death and gothic metal. If you want to be spoiled by some beautiful songs that will take you to the places you can only dream of, this is the right choice.

The review was written by Tomaz
Rating: 9,5/10

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