MIREPLANER – A Mountain Of Saola Hooves
June 30, 2019, 15 days ago
Anyone peeking through my internet history will notice that immediately after downloading the promotional materials for this debut full-length from Finnish atmospheric sludge band Mireplanner I then Googled the word “saola” because I have no idea, man (pro tip: it's one of the rarest large mammals in the world and is super metal looking, with outrageous horns). So, armed with that knowledge I dove into this intimidating-looking album (lots of long songs, at least a couple more words I don't know in their names); while opener “Deadweights” is a slow burn, it's worth it, and by the time it peaks with attention-grabbing staccato riffing, the band has proven they're up to something good here.
I could do without “Parched Throats”'s Meshuggah-esque riffing, but the same song redeems itself with a very powerful sludge part that shows Mireplanner's strengths in creating atmospheric post-metal sludge that creates tons of atmosphere and feeling. “Morass” is a huge album centrepiece that works, and “Light Departure” uses the same rhythmic riffing that “Deadweights” brought out (and that Isis brought out before either song) to much effect. Closer “Saturation Of The Bleeding Maw” has a huge groove, the song an album highlight, encapsulating all of the power this band is capable of. While the songs on this album could use a bit more personality, that's a tough one for post-metal bands, who by default favour atmosphere more than anything else. I like the moments when Mireplanner's strong points (namely the unique riffing) shine through, but even the parts of this album that feel a bit too familiar still pack a huge punch.