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The Pitch: UK-based, string-infused crust/hardcore group Marrow (members of Anopheli, Archivist) drop a new Name Your Price LP just in time for Christmas. FFO: Anopheli, Herida Profunda, Nukk

What I Like: It’s always nice to get a surprise release from a band you have been quietly following for some time. I highly enjoyed the previous outings from Morrow and all of its related projects, so I’m always excited to hear the next chapter. These musicians have created the Marvel Universe of crust, hardcore, and dreary progressive music. So what of this latest release? Is it more Guardians of the Galaxy or Iron Man 2? Fortunately, it’s closer in quality to the former; and is perhaps even better than their predecessor.

As before, Morrow take their time to build atmosphere and tension so that every eruption of D-beat and gang vocals is all the more explosive. Mournful strings and post-metal guitars compliment highly passionate hardcore vocals; slowly climbing a  steep summit before tumbling over the other side in a rallying cry of catharsis. “Augeries of Menace” uses every moment of its 12+ minute runtime to create an emotional rollercoaster that never falters from its raw, genuine nature. Even the album itself is structured much like a mountain in terms of song lengths: bookmarked by its two longest tracks and with the less than 4 minute “The Hunt” poised to pounce right at the midpoint. Highly satisfying.

Critiques: I have little ill to say about this album. My only nitpick is that it doesn’t really push any new boundaries, but given the jump in consistency and even overall quality it’s a minor complaint.

The Verdict: Fallow is a stunningly emotive album thanks largely to its powerful string and vocal performances, but don’t count out the drums or guitars. Every member of this project contributes enough unfettered fervor to fill a stadium. Name your price for an album worth every bit as much as a full priced one.

Flight’s Fav’s: Beyond The Cleaved Land, The Hunt, A City of Gristle

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Flight of Icarus FlightofIcarus is a father, licensed counselor, and full time metalhead. When he is not working and spending time with family, he is writing furiously to promote underground bands on his own site, Metal Trenches. He believes staunchly in writing only constructive reviews, and his favorite bands include Dark Tranquillity, Enslaved, Poison the Well, and Deftones. You can also buy his ebook, The ABC’s of Black Metal.