Release date: February 8, 2019
Format reviewed: high-rate mp3 promo
MAESTUS hails from Eugene in the Pacific Northwest. Formed in 2013, the band released a debut EP, “Scarlet Lakes” that same year, followed by a full-length, “Voir Dire” in 2015. Currently, the Oregon quintet featuring five musicians, collectively sharing a very impressive resume, is set to release their full-length sophomore effort, “Deliquesce”, available worldwide on February 8th 2019, via code666, a division of Aural Music.
There is no other art form that is able to project, explore and at times reconcile human’s most harrowing emotions, than music. Psychologically, each individual creates his or her own subjective connection with the complex stimulus found in music. Commonly, heartrending music rely on two major components in order to channel its melancholic attributes: mode and tempo. As an over-simplified example: of the two common modes (dealing with arrangement and inclusion on a specific key), sad, sorrowful music, almost exclusively relies on the minor mode; in conjunction, a slower tempo (the pace of music) tends to favor melancholy. A third factor would be the interaction between a composition’s musical characteristics (melody, timbre, dynamics, harmony, etc.) where the emotional expression is generated by how different musical characteristics are structured (within a composition) and interact with one another.
Clocking at just over fifty minutes in overall length, the four epic tracks on Maestus‘ forthcoming opus, “Deliquesce”, are monumental tales of desperation, penitence, resentment and stoic acceptance, set against a desolate canvas scarred by failed beliefs. Without even a narrow shadow of optimism in sight, “Deliquesce” keeps its listeners suspended in a state of mournfulness, from start to end … The album flows like a soundtrack to a very tragic cinematographic masterpiece. The amount of musical details that shape this body of music is simply astonishing! Here are some of the key elements: the diverging song within song intermezzi, the impeccably executed atmospheric (synth) and ethereal (guitar) passages, the unexpected blasts back to the crude reality, the melancholic piano laced wall of guitar sound and firmly accenting drumming, and the dramatically placed falls. Adding tremendous depth to the compositions is the absolute vocal desperation, very effectively delivered, with a creative concept of doubling (double-tracking): either growl and scream, or, in a few instances, scream and clean. In connection to one of the bands influences, a clear parallel with the doom metal of My Dying Bride is palpable in the songs’ structures, and vis-à-vis some of the clean instrumental (guitar & violin) interludes. With that said, Maestus have created a deeply moving, dark and unique opus, an undeniable epic blackened doom metal masterpiece, that ranks in the highest echelon, accompanying recent illustrious offerings, such as Altars Of Grief’s “Iris” and Décembre Noir’s “Autumn Kings”. An early contender for 2019 AOTY! Utterly recommended! 10/10
© 2019 by Emil Chiru