The Rickety Old Shack

Mesarthim — Coma Wall EP

album cover

As with all of their releases, Mesarthim just randomly dumped Coma Wall online and let the rest sort itself out. This unknown duo has been releasing a mix of space-themed, electronica-tinged metal for 3 years now. The group has amassed a discography which includes 3 full-length albums and, including Coma Wall, a half-dozen EPs. With the release of this most recent EP, the group states this effort marks "the end of an era..."

It remains unknown if this means Mesarthim have disbanded or not, but Coma Wall is an intriguing note for them to leave off on. The EP is comprised of a single track which runs 16 minutes in length. The intro features the typical flute-like synth sound that has permeated later releases from the project, and segues in to a mix of droning guitars over a driving synth lead. While the electronic elements are always present, Coma Wall features them more prominently than most of the band's prior material.

There is nothing groundbreaking on this short EP, though the track does traverse a number of genres. There are moments where harsh black metal wretches rage over buzzing guitars and droning synths, but this EP leans heavily on the electronica elements of the project's sound. At the 6 minute mark, the track even breaks off into an atmospheric EDM-style progression before the screamed vocals come back in. The track settles back in to a synth-lead groove and alternates between moments of abject fury and atmospheric electronics.

For a project that has crafted a narrative without including a single decipherable word on a single one of their records, Mesarthim are truly in a league of their own. This obscure Australian duo have compiled a dense discography of compelling, ear-catching material that defies easy classification. Coma Wall, just as with any of the group's releases, traverses a number of disparate genres and produces a wholly unique combination thereof. At this point, though, I feel as though they have fully explored the sonic palette they have chosen to constrain themselves to.

Whatever "the end of an era" means, Mesarthim have left an impressive legacy of recorded material in their wake. Personally, I would like to see them take a long break and revamp their sound and approach. I feel like there is a lot of life in the concept of space-themed black metal, but they would do well to add more sounds and influences to their arsenal. Each release from Mesarthim has been an incremental improvement over a past idea — I'd like to see them take it to the next level.

Summary

Enigmatic space metallers, Mesarthim maintain their prolific pace with yet another EP release. Coma Wall is advertised as the "end of an era." Whatever that entails, this single-track EP is another quality fix of this project's unique blend of electronica and metal. Whether this heralds the end of the project, or portends a shift in sound / genre(s) is anyone's guess. Regardless, Coma Wall is another quality release from a project as capable as it is mysterious.

Album Information

Release date: July 12th, 2018
Record label: Independent

. — vocals
. — music

Track Listing

  1. Coma Wall

Link: mesarthim.bandcamp.com

—by Derek

Published: July 18th, 2018.