Thursday, December 27, 2012

We are the hunted ones: MARS BY NIGHT ‘Basement Demo 2012’

The first time I was fortunate enough to catch Mars By Night was opening for two other phenomenal Denver based bands—three-piece heavy rockers Western Ritual and the mighty doom/sludge duo In the Company of Serpents. It was a killer bill from start to finish. All three bands would again share the stage at the second annual Denver Doom Fest where I was lucky enough to score a copy of Mars By Night’s ‘Basement Demo 2012’. Mars By Night play a heavily jam-influenced brand of doom metal and they do it well. The band effortlessly combines space-rock psychedelia in the vein of Hawkwind with the added jam band exploratory excursions of Earthless all the while remaining anchored by a stoner-doom groove.   
 The trippy instrumental “Gamma Wave Ritual” opens the demo with delay-laden guitar and a wash of feedback before accelerating into a meandering sonic trip that gives the musicians room to breath. At just over seven minutes in length “Gamma Wave Ritual” doesn’t grow tiresome due to the multiple changes in tempo and the proficiency of the players who manage to smoothly interweave their respective instruments. “Savage Land”, perhaps the strongest track of the demo, opens with a mesmerizing bass line courtesy of the talented Devin Tauber whose bass lines really carry this tune along with rhythm section cohort, drummer Kyle Butman. “Savage Land” maintains a mid-paced groove throughout but is highlighted by an excellent jazzy breakdown. The nasally, almost spoken word delivery of singer/guitarist Chad DuVall sporadically accents the tune and really fits well with their spacey brand of stoner-doom. Rounding out the demo is “Netherworld Blues”, an up-beat rocker that boasts classic rock riffing and 70’s style jamming minus the retro production values. The song also finds DuVall pushing himself vocally more than on the previous track and even belting out a scream or two.
 Without a doubt, Mars By Night are a talented group of musicians and the recording quality of this demo is excellent. It’s even more impressive to see the band play these tunes in a live setting—they flat out kill it. Their brand of jam band stoner-rock coupled with psychedelia and their musicianship makes this a band to watch out for. Check out songs from their demo via Souncloud or through the link on their Facebook page.
 Words: Steve Miller


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