Mosara - Only the Dead Know Our Secrets (EP)

14 Jul 2022 - Knut

Sludge Doom Metal/Doom Metal | Self released | Release date: 22 Jul 2022

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In May last year Mosara released their debut album although they had been active as a band since the beginning of the 2000s. It was all you could wish for from a heavy blistering sludge doom album. And now they release an EP that further explores the heavy sludge doom sonics they master so superbly well. This release may be a bit more subdued in how it unfolds the soundscapes, more cinematic and wider, but still very stupendous.

It is like the band has taken the cue from where the final Black Sabbath song on Vol. 4 turns into ”Every Day Comes and Goes” and grows doomy, and wanted to make everything heavier than everyone else, murkier, yet still sweeping in its lucidness and imaginative approach to the music. And the result is an astounding 33 minutes of ponderous metal music delivered by distorted and fuzzy guitars, deep low-end melodic bass that leads much of the sonics, heavy dry drumming hitting the cymbals and shrieking vocals. And with some surprises thrown in, for good measure.

Stranger things have happened, but when writing up this review and running out of words to describe heaviness, I was thinking of Kate Bush, the song ”50 Words for Snow” where she entices those 50 words in the English language from a more and more weary Stephen Fry. I wish this wordsmith was here to help me, because then I might be able to describe how Mosara is able to build the heaviness of the music and at the same time entice a vast beauty out of it.

The band builds its ideas for the songs on our ancestors. Last time it was the Aztecs, this time they harvest the inspiration from the ancient Greeks, as the title of the first song indicates: “Magissa” meaning “witch” in Greek. It opens with a strong riff by the distorted guitar alone before the drums and low-end bass join and take the heaviness further under the cymbals. The tonality shifts between heavy and heavier until the shrieking vocals manifests itself in the sonics. It leads to a short wah-wah induced solo taking the music through more shifts before it slows down. The band goes even heavier to prepare us for a female voice reciting from the 2700 years old poem “Theogony” by the Greek poet Hesoid. While she is reciting in Greek, the music slides alluring below in ever changing tonality, like floating heavy melted lead. It is amazingly well executed and ends with static below the steadfast reciting voice.

”Zion´s Eye” opens with a melodic acoustic guitar that glides in harmony with a fuzzy guitar before the profound melodic riffing leads to the shrieking vocals “I touch the sun! / I kiss the sky!”. Around the 4:15 mark the music makes a surprise halt, just to return with the low-end bass as a lead while the guitars tumble around in the background and rise up with solos. The melodic themes are emotional and extremely well played, the guitar solos spanning out melodies with a lot of beauty before the bass takes over again and eventually closes the song.

In accordance with the atavistic background the band is inspired by, a bouzouki joins the opening of ”The Permanence of Isolation” and disappears into a dense heavy riff-based soundscape embracing the screaming vocals, and towards the end leading up to a choir yelling “fuck you!”, it might sum up a lot of things from the past two years and things going on. A guitar snails in and out from the dense music, rises above it, with high pitched angry takes before it is drowned out just to return with wah-wahs which is again drowned out. The way they build the music around the bass and the fuzz is quite extraordinary throughout this song, and, yes, also throughout the whole album. Everything is held together by the drumming, both diverse and steady.

The EP closes with the band doing the impossible on ”Only the Dead Know Our Secrets” - playing heavier and doomier than on the previous songs with slow pace and still coming out with melodic musical themes. A distorted solo crashes into the heavy wide distorted soundscape. Further out an equally-distorted glissando guitar is lurking beneath lamenting secrets. It is so well done, and like a dense glacier of black ice the song is gliding into oblivion.

Mosara is clearly a band to count on expanding the sludge doom further with an intelligent take on both music and themes. One cannot ask for more as a listener and a fan. This might “only” be an EP, but it is a substantial contribution to heavy fuzzy sludge doom metal by seasoned musicians. No pressure, folks, but we want more.