Mire - Throat Of The Mountain (EP)(2014)

 photo 66afbb79-734c-4c52-a9af-6f4656d28eb2_zps77cc8722.jpg

We're not often let into the mind of the musicians. We don't know exactly what inspired them to write the song that you find yourself obsessed with. At least, we never get the real story. John Morley, the man behind the project called Mire, isn't hiding where his inspiration comes from. In fact, he so eloquently tells us, "... if you stop believing those that you've lost to be gone, and start to see them as alive in another way, resting forever." However old you are, there is a strong truth to that statement that won't easily be lost, however crass or cynical you've become. Moreover, it means there is a personal connection between the man and his music, one that is passed on to the listener through instrumentation or lyrical content. The latter, handled and performed by Scott Elliott, is as important as any riff could be. And as the two put emotional to music, Throat of The Mountain becomes a public grieving.

The airy synths that begin Born Anew can be breathtaking, especially when combined with the fluttering strings that creep in later on. But they also provide a question of clarity as they transition to the first full track, River Of Time. For as full as that intro seemed to sound, what follows is recessed, the sound almost coming from a distance. The pieces are there, however faintly, but their mix makes them harder to decipher. Machine gun drums are buried below screaming vocals and guitars, to the point of barely being audible at times. The true crime, of course, is that when you isolate each part, there is a lot to celebrate. But together, they form one mass of uneven instrumentation. Mvntumþrotu (Throat Of The Mountain) shares a similar fate. Cymbal crashes cut through the mix, but leave the rest of the percussion lost in the sizzle. There are moments of depth to be found, though, even if it means tilting your head ever so slightly to the right and really squinting. The guitars and keys in the latter stages, hidden behind a wall of metal rattling, can be intricate and and easily enjoyed. But it is the finale track, Rest (Forever)  that will be the main takeaway here. Crisp and dynamic, it embodies the spirit and emotional attached you'll form to the record's subject matter.

We all deal with and work through grief in our own way. For Morley, putting his sadness into audible sounds seems to work best. he's put a great deal of that emotion into this offering, and despite the uneven presentation of it, production wise, it comes through. I would wager a guess and say that that would be the greater goal here; for his pain to become visible through his music, rather than just putting out a flat footed black metal album with no attachment whatsoever. In that way, he's succeeded on a number of levels. You would be hard pressed to make through one, let alone several listens, without finding a piece of your own life experience buried in the lyric sheet or the depressive rhythms. That speaks volumes. With a step forward in the recording process, the message might be even clearer to those who struggled to get it here. As he puts it, "All turbulent journeys must come to an end. But those that undergo them, do not have to vanish entirely. This is what inspired Throat Of The Mountain."

7/10

Bandcamp - http://miremetal.bandcamp.com/

Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/MireMetal