Review: Marabou – Spirit Lights

Marabou was originally formed by two friends, Shay Davitt and Tom Leacy, in Wexford, Ireland back in 2011. They blended metal with post-hardcore and a few more styles into a brutal mix that gave them an almost instant success in the Irish underground scene. With their fame and fan base quickly growing, they found themselves an extra guitar and a set of vocal chords in the person of Aaron Gaffey, expanding the lineup to four members, with bassist Kalebh Grocock completing the quartet, securing their reputation as a strong live band. To underline this growth they have now released their first studio work, which comes as an EP called Spirit Lights. A great opportunity to find out if they have the potential to convert their live performance into a solid studio performance.

Being an EP, Spirit Lights only clocks a little over 15 minutes, in which four songs are served. Opener The Heat is a groovy song that leaves no doubt about why these guys have such a great reputation as a live band. The tight riffs are accompanied by harsh vocals that breathe anger and a very strong rhythm section that defines the song’s borders. I have no problem whatsoever imagining a huge mosh pit developing when this is played on a random stage anywhere. The next song, Keep Hating Me, builds on the same foundations, but those foundations are so expertly tucked away in the countless differences in rhythm and structure you will most likely barely notice it, if at all. And to be honest, even if you do it doesn’t take anything away from the entertainment this song offers. There is not always the need to reinvent your style, in fact, it hardly ever is as long as you keep things varied enough. Next up is These Creeps, which is a bit different from the other songs, it vaguely rang a few Suicidal Tendencies bells every now and then with its clean singing and various intermezzos and rhythm changes. As if to summarize the album closer, Mr Architect, kicks in, in which the guys show what they are made of one last time. I have no idea what exactly they are made of, but it’s pretty damn’ solid I’d say.

Marabou pretty much nailed it with their maiden release Spirit Lights in my opinion. The four more than solidly composed and executed songs are a perfect reflection of what they stand for music-wise and I think it’s safe to say every single one of these songs is capable of making any metal minded crowd go absolutely bananas at a live performance. Saying these songs are best consumed live would derogate the band’s efforts, the songs are way too strong quality-wise to simply state that, but man, these songs will cause a serious stir when played live. If metal with a post-hardcore flavor and a blend of subtly dosed other styles is your thing, buying this is a no-brainer. If you are into metal as a whole you should give this a shot as well. Chances are you will like this.

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