Half Is Nothing EP

Written by: PP on 08/02/2016 23:25:19

Copenhagen, Denmark-based Marrow is a brand new band that rises from the ashes of alternative metallers What Worms Inherit, who combined thrash with nu-metal without particularly good success in either. Their new project is a whole other story, as their five-track debut EP "Half Is Nothing" demonstrates. The style has changed dramatically, with the group now concentrating on straight up progressive metal with metalcore tendencies. Out comes an impressive concoction that should appeal to fans of Dream Theater and Killswitch Engage in equal fashion.

More importantly, Marrow have from the get go captured a soundscape that is decisively theirs, even if parallels to other bands exist in the process. Guided by texturized melodies and plenty of complicated heavy riffage, the instrumentals alone make "Half Is Nothing" an overlooked record from 2015. When you add on top the heavy metal style clean vocals that occasionally dip into guttural growls, you have an eclectic mix that simply takes the best of two worlds and arranges them together in a familiar, and oddly catchy manner. I say oddly because catchy isn't usually a word used in connection with songs averaging between 4.5 and 6.5 minutes.

And that is arguably the key reason why Marrow gets away with writing such intricate progressive metal passages and yet stay easily accessible for new listeners: they remember that progressive metal isn't just about instrumental wankery, but also requires a great sense of compositional awareness to appeal outside of the nerdy circles of this genre alone. And here's where the vocals come in. With the aforementioned growls and a focus on memorable melodies, they echo great clean metallers The Vision Ablaze and E'Nemia locally, and Killswitch Engage and Aspera internationally, and they do so without sounding exactly like any of the bands. Their own soundscape, as mentioned before, just with influence from other bands, just as it should be.

The whole expression is packaged into an impressive production. The instrumentation is tight, the balance between them and vocals is top notch, and the record both sounds and feels heavy and aggressive despite it's lighter clean vocal approach. Well done. "Half Is Nothing" EP is indeed a great introduction to a band that should be on every "Danish bands to watch out for in 2016" list in this country.

Download: Mind Over Matter, Reality Check
For the fans of: Killswitch Engage, E'Nemia, Malrun, The Vision Ablaze, Aspera
Listen: Facebook

Release date 01.08.2015

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