Mares of Thrace: The Pilgrimage


Sonic Unyon Metal

Heavy as Motorhead and hotter than Nicki Minaj, the wimmin of Mares Of Thrace will kick your ass and rip your debit card should you be caught up in The Pilgrimage. It’s the second album from the Calgarian duo of guitarist/vocalist Thérèse Lanz (who plays a custom built baritone guitar with both guitar and bass pickups) and drummer Stef MacKichan.

The pair were core members of now-defunct Kilbourne and the good effects of all that playing together is reflected in the high quality of the musicianship. MOT likes to tackle large themes; transformation, journeys, the construction of internal landscapes. In doing so they're evolving a creepy, hypnotic doom drone, snarling with slashes of noise rock sound that’s getting them a significant profile.

Produced Sanford Parker chose to focus on the musicianship, creating a wraparound sound at once dense and spacious while still allowing for the tasty bits to shine through. Lanz’s custom guitar creates for a menacing soundscape with rolling waves of doom metal riffage, perfectly complimented by drummer MacKichan knack for swift mood and time changes which at times set up some awesome dynamics.

As it’s sort of a theme album, it makes a kind of sense that the songs are all similarly structured. On account of the limited instrumentation, this does lead to a sense of sameness in the album’s latter stages. That this is about showcasing the musicianship is highlighted by the virtuoso playing on “The Goat Thief” and  "The Bird Surgeon”, which transform so-so songwriting into eerie and magical moments.

James Lizzard