REVIEW: Mire Lore – Marrow Leech [2018]

Artist: Mire Lore

Album: Marrow Leech


Besides an exotic, kinda-tasty, kinda-weird protein commonly served in French cuisine, what is bone marrow? Well, fundamentally, it is the adult location of the vast majority of hematopoiesis, or, the synthesis of most of our blood constituents.

Simplified: it’s the reason we’re able to function past 6-10 months of age. Diseases of the marrow are either fatal or wrought with complications, none of them being “pretty” or easy. We need our marrow, which means that which syphons it—slowly feeding from it as if an insidious and intelligent parasite—is synonymous with a creeping, unrelenting demise.

That should paint a pretty vivid and gloomy picture in your head (hopefully), and if it does, it probably looks a lot like how Mire Lore’s debut album, Marrow Leech, sounds. Among the most absurd releases within the technical deathcore/brutal death metal realm so far this year, Marrow Leech is a star-studded display of abyssal aggression and unfathomable brutality wrapped in an occasionally-atmospheric but always-oppressive package. In short, Marrow Leech is hard to describe beyond how incredibly intense it manages to be, using speed, heaviness, technicality and ethereality all to keep the listener wedged firmly under its thumb, spell-bound and cemented in place.

Mire Lore is a two-piece.

Still there? Good—because if you aren’t instantly discrediting the band as a studio outfit (for now), then you’re in for a phenomenal treat. Instrumentally, the Lore that Is Marrow Leech is woven entirely by Frankie Cilella (formerly of Bodysnatcher and Existence Has Failed). Cilella’s ability to write mind-numbing, blistering percussion and play slam-tinted, technically proficient brutalizing hybrids of deathcore and death metal is profound, and Marrow Leech is USPSTF Grade-A approved evidence of that. Whether it’s the lead single and album opener, “Orb Weaver,” “Wrath of the Necromancer” and its appalling intensity, “The Gallows” or the closing epic “Return to the Abyss,” featuring Shadow of Intent and Currents’ own Chris Wiseman’s fretwork, every track on Marrow Leech is a slice of Cilella’s excellence. Even the more atmospheric cuts see Cilella shining in relatively unorthodox ways. “The Mire” and “The End is Near” are two such tracks—where Cilella opts for ambience over sheer aggression, highlighting his ability to write with majesty and ethereality in a way that still captures a dark and brooding sensation that sweeps over the listener like a chill. Cilella’s work is creative and crushing both, oscillating between the catchy, bouncy nature of deathcore and the soul-smothering weight and devastation of slamming death metal—giving the listener a beefed up, thicker and meaner take on traditional deathcore with added blackening, atmosphere and technicality, transcending conventional genre boundaries to really knock the listener back.

The frontman behind Mire Lore is none other than Dan Watson, who really needs no introduction. Watson’s legacy speaks for itself—but what might not speak for itself would be the amount of progression seen on Marrow Leech. A far cry from even his most recent outing with Enterprise Earth, Watson’s range is slightly expanded, but his intensity, strength and intonation are infinitely more engaging and able to convey a wider spectrum of emotion—this is evident from “Orb Weaver” and beyond. Then, songs like “The End is Near” (yes, those are “clean vocals,” chill out) and “The Mire” see an odd juxtaposition of Watson’s abilities and Cilella’s dynamic writing. The two vocal guest spots—Duncan Bentley (Vulvodynia) and James Mislow (King Conquer) are akin to Watson’s own prowess in that they don’t need a description—their pre-established talent already sets the standard expected by the listener—the very same standard that gets blown to bits by their actual recordings.

Mire Lore is a multifaceted listening experience with one underlying linking factor: aggression. Defined by the ability to get ungodly heavy while retaining instrumental talent and fluid, varied songwriting both, Marrow Leech is a masterful exposition of eviscerating musicianship and top-tier vocal work. Cilella and Watson have truly outdone themselves in crafting an absolut gutbuster of a venture—one that will keep fans of all things heavy coming back time and time again to steep their ears in the mire.



For Fans Of: Vulvodynia, Ingested, Hollow Prophet

By: Connor Welsh