MARYSCREEK – Infinity

maryscinfiIn the back of my mind, the name MarysCreek felt somewhat familiar. I know I have heard it somewhere, but I couldn’t – and still can’t – figure out where I have heard it before. I have probably read something about them, a review or something, in one of the music magazines I read, but never taken any notice. Turns out that the band was put together some 12 years ago, back in 2004, by vocalist Mats Nilsson and drummer Stefan Halldin (hey, I didn’t even know they are Swedish…). It would take them another three years to release their debut album Some Kind Of Hate, produced by Fredrik Nordström who had previously worked with bands such as In Flames, Opeth, Soilwork and The Haunted. Since then the band have toured frequently with such different acts such as Takida, Evergrey, Crucified Barbara, Dead by April, Uriah Heep, The Poodles and Fatal Smile. But it would take the band another seven years – and some line-up changes – to release the follow-up, an E.P. named Incubic Twin (2014). The line-up on that record – Nilsson, Halldin, guitarists Peter Berqvist and Jonas Hallberg and bass player Roger Blomberg – is consistent to this day. What the name MarysCreek means and / or stands for, I’m totally clueless of, but if anyone knows, please let me know. So, now that we write 2016 in our calendars, MarysCreek finally gets to release a new full-length album, this one produced by one Stefan Glaumann and anyone who has a thing for, first of all still buying records, but also reading the credits, will know that he has a somewhat impressive CV. Shotgun Messiah, Rammstein, Europe, Within Temptation and Paradise Lost are among the artists he have worked with in the past and I’m thinking that a guy like that wouldn’t get involved something that’s not in very high quality. To me, this is first time I ever hear a note from this lot, but judging from their press release, this looks like something I could really get into.

Opener “Hypnotized” is a heavy and dark metal tune, but it also sports a rather big Alice In Chains vibe with a chunk of melodic hard rock added to the mix and a memorable hook – yes, I dig this very, very much! Next one up, “Buried Deep Within” has a title that makes you think of some sort of death metal, but the song is actually very melodic and has a really catchy melody, but at the same time, the groove is heavy and the song brings this dark vibe. I love this one too. “Into Infinity” is just bloody marvelous. It’s a plain hard rocker, but the chorus is über-catchy and the up-front keyboards brings an almost gothic feel. There’s a Swedish band called Degreed (reviewed here) that I come to think of when I hear this. “So Afraid (To Live)” is straight forward melodic hard rock and, maybe I’ll get my ass kicked for this, but it makes me think of The Poodles with a heavier expression. I admit that I have a weak spot for The Poodles, at least their latest couple of albums, so this song really does it for me – great! The melody of “The First Day” is very distinct and the whole song, both verses and chorus, sticks immediately. It’s a pretty dark tune, but somehow also very happy. Contradictions really do attract sometimes. “My Confession” have a rhythm that brings Metallica to mind, but the whole atmosphere is more on the gothic side. The song is both melancholic and melodic and I think it’s a great tune.  “On The Other Side” is a ballad, heavy, but heavy in a more rock radio way, very American sounding. I guess they are going for airplay with this one. That said, I really embrace the way they have done it – it’s a damn fine song. “The Ghost Inside” is fantastic. It’s a straight forward hard rocker with a melody to die for. The chorus is very much in-your-face and sticks right away – single material! “Blinded By Darkness” is a med-tempo rocker with a big pop feel and some very memorable hooks. The chorus is also on the catchier side, but the foundation is still based on heaviness. The riffs that belongs to “Forever Lost” are heavily influenced by Pretty Maids, at least that’s the first thing on my mind when I hear this song, but the vocal melody again brings Degreed to mind and the mix of the two just can’t go wrong. It also holds some progressive elements and all of that makes this melodic rocker another killer. “My Own Enemy” have a riff that makes me think of Tony Iommi and some of the structures in the verses makes me think of Black Sabbath so it’s a heavy piece we get here. But the chorus is huge and very memorable – the song is quite intriguing, actually. Again, great stuff. Closing track “Tomorrow” takes yet another turn, with its double bass drum, classic heavy metal foundation and a more modern rock radio arrangement, the tune sticks out. The fact that the chorus is really catchy doesn’t hurt either.

So, it turns out that my first encounter with MarysCreek was a good one. Fact is, I’m impressed – the guys have made one damn fine record here. The record is varied and the guys has managed to take different styles, mix them together without everything going totally schizophrenic musically and no matter the influence, it always sounds like MarysCreek in the end. The band really have their own sound even though it’s quite easy to pick influences here and there. The variation makes the album very hard to get tired of and that combined with some very strong material made want to listen to it again the second the final note had faded. The guys’ performances are all splendid – singer Nilsson’s phrasing sometimes reminds me of Jacob Samuel (Poodles), the production is sharp, fat and heavy and there’s not a bad song in sight. Highly recommended to every rocker with good taste.

8/10

Tracklist:

1. Hypnotized
2. Buried Deep Within
3. Into Infinity
4. So Afraid (To live)
5. The First Day
6. My Confession
7. On The Other Side
8. The Ghost Inside
9. Blinded By Darkness
10. Forever Lost
11. My Own Enemy
12. Tomorrow

 

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