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Monday, August 15, 2016

Marsh Dweller - The Weight of Sunlight

Artist: Marsh Dweller
Release Title: The Weight of Sunlight
Year: 2016
Label: Eihwaz Recordings
Genre: Melodic Black Metal
1. Cultivating the Cosmic Tree
2. The Dull Earth
3. Where the Sky Ends
4. Monumental Collapse
5. Empty Light of Heavens
6. Forks of the River
7. Feathers on the Breath of God
8. The Weight of Sunlight

Originally launched in 2012, Ohio-based one-man melodic black metal project Marsh Dweller has quietly built the band into a rather promising addition to the genre as he’s relocated now to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Continuing to do everything involved in the project himself, this debut full-length effort was released August 15, 2016 on Eihwaz Recordings.

Once this one gets going, there’s some rather fun and decent work here as this one manages to adequately build itself into a solid melody-driven black metal effort. This is accomplished through tight, simplistic tremolo riff-work that’s all quite nicely played here in a mid-tempo sprawl that leaves the material without much in the way of fiery rhythms here as that simplistic edge and plodding tempo are never really given much use for it in the first place. In a manner of a few rare occasions there is a rather nice up-tempo burst of frantic drumming and urgent, swirling riff-work that gets put on display here to solidify the connection to the specific genre, yet overall that all seems like an afterthought with the dominance of the other slower material in the arrangements which keep this one much more of a lighter-sounding effort. With the inclusion of the acoustic guitar strains over the rest of the material also getting a big chance to add to that particular facet, there’s some much lighter and melodic washes of black metal in the rhythms here, which is where this one does start to come down slightly. The insistence on keeping the tracks more slowed down and mid-tempo doesn’t generate the level of excitement in the rhythms it really should, focusing far too much on keeping the tracks at a straightforward level rather than offering any kind of variation or dynamics to really enhance the melodies. Likewise, the need for three different instrumentals is a rather curious decision as it feels like overkill to include that much when there’s only a finite number of original tracks featured and makes the album seem a little shorter than it really is. Otherwise, this one wasn’t terribly bad at all.

While it does struggle with somewhat slower tempos than it really should and keeps the chances for work down with the shortened track-list, there’s some decent work on display here to make this one a somewhat passably experience for those looking into the melodic black metal scene or enjoy this kind material.

Score: 68/100

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