I love albums that do not look like the music that they are trying to represent. This is the case with Mabus’ “Cheers, To Doomsday Gloom”. Mabus plays a brand of hardcore (through emocore) that uses a lot of sludge metal influences to create something that is tied both to the past and the present. “One’s Nosedive is Another’s Parade” has a decidedly eighties metal flair to it that struggles with the screaming done on the track. Throw in some double bass pedals and dungeon metal guitars and one has a delightful mesh of different styles and sounds right out of the gate.
“One’s Nosedive” is one of the longest tracks on the album, which has tracks that typically do not go much longer than three minutes. The stop-start nature of Mabus during “Cheers” makes the tracks feel longer than they ultimately are. This means that the shorter tracks still feel as if they are achieving normal track lengths, while the longer tracks are perhaps too long to keep individuals interested. Mabus may be an interesting band but they are not an act that can change style and influences at the drop of a hat. “Care To Drag?” is perhaps where the band breaks free of their sound for long enough to really put a strong foot forward.
This ability to move to different sets of influences is perhaps the one thing that gives me faith that Mabus will be able to continually come up with new and exciting albums in the future. The band eventually enters back into a harder style that is reminiscent of acts like Morbid Angel, but the opening of the track is where the money shot is. The band has a specific focus to “Cheers” that can be heard through any of the disc’s 8 tracks, but when Mabus moves away from this focus, individuals can realize exactly how solid of a band Mabus is. This is shown during “Swingin’ In Saterlee Grove”, a song that mixes Voltaire/Danzig vocal explication with a bluesy, almost jazzy type of style. Mabus only has listeners’ attentions for twenty-seven minutes, but adds enough to each song that individuals will feel as if the disc topped twice that length. Mabus is an act that came out of nowhere, but will undoubtedly be in the minds and hearts of listeners for years, if not decades, to come. Give it a try.
Top Track: Swingin’ In Saterlee Grove
Mabus – Cheers, To Doomsday Gloom / 2006 Glacial / 9 Tracks / http://www.mabushf.com / http://www.glacialrecords.com/ Reviewed 22 July 2006