Released: 2013, Rotedoom Records
Reviewer: Aaron Yurkiewicz
Australian quartet Rote Mare laid down a promising debut of traditional doom metal with 2011’s SERPENTS OF THE CHURCH, and in anticipation of a USE YOUR ILLUSION-esque pair of full length follow ups, the band has recently released a new split with fellow Aussie doomsters Dire Fate. A five track, 35 minute collection of differing but wholly complementary styles of doom, it succeeds at introducing Dire Fate to the masses and builds some great anticipation for Rote Mare’s next offerings.
Dire Fate owns the first three tracks on the disc. Stylistically, the band recalls a more traditional, straightforward brand of doom – a la Saint Vitus and early Candlemass. Clean, structured tomes of despair abound, with roiling hammer on riffs that recall Sir Dave Chandler’s best. “Evil Ascending” is a three minute introductory buildup to “Satanic Eclipse,” a tight and concise mid-tempo epic. “Salvation Through Pessimism” closes out Dire Fate’s contribution, and is a brooding 9-minute drone. Relying heavily on the spacious production and sustained resonance, it’ s a decent track, but lacks the sense of purpose that the band displayed on “Satanic Eclipse”. All things being equal though, it’s a great introduction for a promising band.
Rote Mare is an experience to be heard, and the final two tracks on the split exemplify why they’re so damn good. “Sinking Ships” is a brief, melodic escape that centers around Phil Howlett’s beckoning wail, but the 14 minute closer “The Hour of Doom” is an absolute treasure. It’s a beautiful, trudging dirge that gets meaner and more oppressive as the track moves along. As discordant guitars play against each other, Howlett’s screams compliment the musical aesthetic in dark, harmonious bliss.
I desperately want to hear more from both bands. Dire Fate has a handful of demos under their belt, but this is their first appearance on a professional release – and they nail it. They’ve got a great sound and a knack for writing solid tunes; can’t wait to hear what they do next. And Rote Mare continue build a reputation as one of Australia’s premier doom metal bands. This is an easy recommendation for fans of the genre. The Dire Fate/Rote Mare split is available now through Rotedoom Records.