Mares of Thrace - The Pilgrimage

Two years on from the release of their critically acclaimed EP “The Moulting”, Mares of Thrace are back with a new album that essentially refines some aspects and potentiates the rawer and harsher elements of its predecessor. 
Don’t be fooled by the charming and attractive looks of these two Canadian ladies for they have penned a highly intimidating and raucous record that eschews all that is commercially accessible and aurally pleasing. The aggression in their primal riffs and feral, piercing screams is palpable as the duo comprised by guitarist Thérèse Lanz and drummer Stef MacKichan sound utterly fierce and nasty throughout most of these 43 minutes.
In addition, the Sanford Parker production leaves all the rough edges of their music intact, meaning that “The Pilgrimage” sound massive and savage and filthy and grimy all at once. That much becomes immediately obvious as soon as “Act I: David Glimpses Bathsheba” erupts from the speakers with loud, discordant guitars, spastic rhythms and deliberately abrasive and caustic screams. While the band’s ability to create a certain tension and visceral, chaotic vibe is unquestionable, “The Pilgrimage” does bore a bit, especially when it relies too much on repetitive structures and rudimentary riffs. 
Of course, this is still their early days, and Mares of Thrace have yet to develop their song-writing skills before they can even be talked about in the same breath as Unsane or Today Is The Day. However, judging by this surprisingly powerful and raucous effort I’d say they’re on the right path and stand as one of the most promising and interesting projects within the noise/sludge scope. (7.5/10)


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