Review: Mire – Throat of the Mountain

Posted: January 19, 2015 in ALERT: Awesome new music, Demo Review, Reviews
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Mire are a British black metal band playing ghostly, haunting music in the style of Winterfylleth, Saor, Panopticon et al. Their EP release, ‘Throat of the Mountain’ is inspired by personal loss, and coping with the grief that follows. Loss is something that can inspire very potent, moving music. It is cathartic, in a way, to release emotions through musical endeavours, and allows the departed to live forever.

‘Throat of the Mountain’ is, then, a fittingly poignant slice of heathen black metal majesty. Mire encapsulate the soaring gloominess of atmospheric black metal’s finest parts, without falling into the oft used trap of 10+ minute songs. ‘Throat of the Mountain’ is concise in its glacial fury. Four tracks in less than fifteen minutes is positively grindcore pace for this kind of music! ‘Born Anew’ is a sombre opening, bringing to mind some of early 90s My Dying Bride atmospheres (‘For My Fallen Angel’ particularly). It is melancholy, with whispering violin notes adding to the despair. ‘River of Time’ continues this mourning atmosphere, while driving black metal riffs buzz and howl underneath. A rasping vocal takes lead, giving space to a battery of blastbeats and the soaring melodies. It’s dark, raw but yet open and plain.

There are so many bands it seems doing this kind of black metal these days, but when the quality is high, its hard to argue with how affecting it can be. Close your eyes on the title track and you could be far away, sitting under the looming height of a peak in the heather, naught but wind in your ears. The track builds from raw black metal, layering sombre violin and icy grasps of melody onto the blackness. When it leaves this mortal coil, around the 2:20 mark, its a truly special moment.

Ending with ‘Rest (Forever)’, another sombre piece, you’re left feeling slightly deflated, wanting more. That is a good thing, because you can turn it right back and start again. My only complaint is that it could do with a bit of a fuller production; a bit of an extra oomph to bring a bit more body to the songs. It’s a small complaint however, as Mire do what they do very well indeed. Here’s hoping for more sometime soon!

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