In recent years Russia is proving to be a veritable hotbed of bands devoted to the most leaden and melancholic forms of metal, namely doom in its death and funeral variants. This constantly evolving movement finds its natural outlet in an indigenous label like Solitude Productions, which has had the merit of including within its roster a number of names that are helping to rewrite the history of the genre. Mare Infinitum are on their first record release but certainly cannot be called debutants as the two musicians involved in the project are quite well known in the former Soviet Union scene: Homer, multi-instrumentalist ex-Who Dies In Siberian Slush, and the better known A.K. iEzor drummer and vocalist of Comatose Vigil and Abstract Spirit. Inevitably the genre proposed by the two does not deviate much from what has been produced by the bands just mentioned, but the attempt to include moments of discontinuity from the usual compositional patterns is nevertheless appreciable, thanks to the frequent melodic openings and the use of several guests on clean vocals alternating with the canonical growl. Doom after all is not a genre that lends itself too much to Pindaric flights of fancy on the part of its performers, and in some ways fidelity to established models constitutes a guarantee of loyalty and total dedication to the cause. The ideal method to savor the funereal and at the same time emotional sounds of this work is to approach it with the right mental predisposition, renouncing the search for who knows what stylistic or compositional novelties. Mare Infinitum fully fulfill their mission with an album full of delicately melancholic moments, both with tracks veering toward death doom, such as the opening In Absence We Dwell or in Beholding The Unseen, as well as in part of the instrumental November Euphoria, with its passages close to that precious gem that was Anathema’s They Die, and with two decidedly more funeral-oriented episodes such as In The Name Of My Sin and the superlative Sea Of Infinity. To those who might object to an entirely positive judgment, pointing out the lack of originality of the proposal, I would remind them that there are bands like Motorhead and AC/DC, just to mention two “any” names, that have been proposing basically the same record for 20 years and yet no one dares to blink an eye in the name of an effective and established stylistic integrity; the reality is that, if an album is good, it is good, period. If in this or that passage Mare Infinitum can remind one of Comatose Vigil rather than Ea, but manage to lead the listener firmly by the hand inside the dark meanderings evoked in their songs, it means that the goal has been fully achieved. I, for one, have not yet grown tired of listening to Sea Of Infinity, try to find out if it will have the same effect on you.

2011 – Solitude Productions