Review from Musipedia of Metal

Posted by Nick Skog on Friday, April 26, 2019 Under: English
From: Musipedia of Metal
Published: April 25, 2019

Mavradoxa are a four piece based in New York. The band have been together since 2016 and have so far released 2 albums before Nightmarrow; 2016’s Sojourners and 2017’s Lethean Lament. The band play a mix of Atmospheric Black Metal and Post Black Metal. Lyrically the album focuses on Isolation and hopelessness of urban dystopias; it juxtaposes the purity of nature with the poison of urbanity. The album highlights humanities headlong rush towards extinction. The album starts with the track Maple. The song starts with a simple black metal riff, maybe a little reminiscent of Agalloch. The sound is organic and not overly produced, and flows beautifully. The last couple of minutes of the song feature some really great tremolo picked riffs, which end up being layered and harmonised, which is a really innovative way to treat these kind of riffs. The Carrion Shade starts with gang, chanted vocals over dissonant riffs. Before going into a harsh section, nasty riffs with nasty vocals. The second half of the song is a revelation. Those layered riffs are back, and this time there are more layers. More harmonies, more catharsis, more intricate, more hypnotic. I’ve never heard this approach to tremolo picked riffs before. Other bands have hinted that this sort of thing is possible, Mavradoxa have made it a reality.

Nightmarrow has a little bit more of a Post Black Metal feel to it. At times this track reminds me a little of Deafheaven, a very melodic and tuneful Deafheaven. There is a beautifully melancholic section about halfway through that leads us into some exquisite blasting tremolo picked riffs. Just Stunning. Rustling Leaves is a short acoustic interlude. A beautiful, elegant, minimalist respite. Black Crystal Snowfall continues the Post Black Metal feel from Nightmarrow. The main part is a little reminiscent of Alcest or Hermóðr. The album as a whole feels cathartic, and that feeling is a massive part of this song. This song feels like it is coming to a resolution. The song ends with a section of layered tremolo picked riffs; however this time they are shorter, so they repeat quicker. This makes them feel hypnotic, there is almost a Philip Glass quality to how this part feels. This album has so much more depth than a lot of Black Metal, and I feel that it is these intricately layered passages that give the album this sense. The album is brought to an end by the instrumental Umbra. A beautiful, cathartic piece that soothes the listener, and it feels like the album is slowly drifting away into the distance, exquisite.

Nightmarrow is a stunning piece of work. A genuinely original piece of work in a genre that is packed full of generic bands. I have to admit, before this album arrived in my dropbox folder I had not heard of this band. After listening to this album, I am incredibly grateful to my editor for sending this album my way. This is one of the most original black metal albums I have heard in many years. I’ve felt as excited about it as I was the first time I heard black metal. It is beautiful, nasty, hypnotising, cathartic, aggressive, blasting and sublime. I would highly recommend this album to anyone with any kind of interest in black metal, or if you’ve never listened to black metal, then this would be an amazing place to start. Right, now it’s time to hit Bandcamp and buy up everything they have recorded before this! Genuinely amazing Black Metal.

Rating: 9/10

In : English 

Tags: "mavradoxa" "mavradoxa nightmarrow" "mavradoxa atmospheric black metal" "mavradoxa 2019" "dylan garrett smith" 

 Released:  May 2, 2019
500 Copies
Genre: Atmospheric Black Metal