Friday, January 11, 2013

Free Music Friday: Mara- "The Ugliness Within" (Self-Released)

This week's Free Music Friday marks another first for this blog: a posthumous release. That's right, Mara may have called it quits, but has decided to put out one final album to round up some tracks that hadn't yet been put out for the world.  Most of these tracks are reworkings or new mixes of songs from Mara's older albums, but they do flow rather nicely in the format presented here.

While I was not familiar with Mara while it was an active project, I'm intrigued by the blend of sounds presented in this bleak collection of doom-laden black ambiance. While some of the dissonant soundscapes presented on this collection tread familiar territory for USBM of the past decade, the music doesn't feel tired or contrived. Instead, there's almost a hint of mid-period Godflesh fused in with the isolationist black metal sound Mara creates, which lends a small air of beauty, melody, and a stronger sense of rhythm than many groups of this nature. I know the combination might sound bizarre, but it creates a funereal beauty that pairs nicely with the bleak imagery Mara conveys with their titles and album art. Songs like "Industrial Ruins" especially carve a safe haven in the midst of the self-loathing and misery that the rest of this album crafts, and absolutely serve as milestones on this depressing journey.

If you're looking for some good, mid-paced music with a dense and bleak atmosphere, check this out. The band submitted it to me and I was glad to discover this, even if it is after their/his time as a functional unit. I look forward to finding more groups like this in the future, and possibly hearing whatever noise may come next from this tormented individual.

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