If you're into doom metal brimming with hypnotic, melancholic atmospheres then the second album Draining The Waterheart from Chile's Mar de Grises is definitely a release you're going to want to seek out. It's been just over a four year wait between albums but one listen to the crushing, epic jams on this monster should erase any doubts as to whether the wait was worth it.
With the exception of one track, the three minute "Fantasia" there isn't one song which clocks in at less than six minutes, as each one of these superbly crafted compositions strikes a fine balance between punishing moments of slow, ultra heavy guitar riffage and delicate ambient keyboard passages. The melodic sounding guitar work is majestically layered and up front in the mix, only dropping out of focus periodically when the arrangements shift gears, something these guys do very effectively and often to keep things fresh. Check out the haunting breakdown section in "One Possessed" for a lesson in the fine art of song construction. This disturbing little gothic masterpiece features a slow whispered vocal overtop a simple yet brooding, heavy backdrop which gradually builds before the threads slowly start to tear apart in the songs final minutes with an absolutely gorgeous melody on the piano. The growling / clean dual vocal approach also works very efficiently and certainly helps give these songs even more character. The albums crowning achievement though is saved for the end with the thirteen minute "Litugia" suite which is nothing short of epic in scope. This multifaceted beast will take you on such an emotion filled roller coaster ride that it will leave you absolutely shattered by the songs conclusion. My only regret is that I wish I had gotten into Draining The Waterheart when it was issued last year because it certainly would have made it onto my top release list of 2008. Oh well you know what they say, better late than never.
1) Sleep Just One Dawn
2) Kilómetros de Nada
3) Deep-Seeded Hope Avant-Garde
5) Wooden Woodpecker Conversion
6) One Possessed
7) Summon Me
8) Liturgia: Convite y Prefiguración / Purgatorio / Diálogo Infierno