‘Forget Me Not’
(Released: Jan 2015)
Magi, an intriguing trio from North Carolina, play intelligent post-metal sludge that’s packed with ambient, drone and noise elements. There are some dangerously heavy riffs on offer, as well as aching, deathly growls that add a layer of aggression and impending disaster to the otherwise dream-like doom.
Many of the high points on ‘Forget Me Not’, however, come from the melodic clean vocals which, though sometimes sounding a little over-processed, create an atmosphere in which sorrowful beauty and shuddering ugliness can coexist in harmony.
Magi’s music is enthralling and modern, taking the ancient standards of doom metal and injecting a few gallons of detergent to create a album that is both sparse and satisfying. The song ‘In Amity’, for example, is a lean, mean misery machine that effortlessly achieves greatness, while ‘Mystic’ features a gargantuan, epic riff that is simple but overwhelming, at once heavy and emotional.
There are a few passages on ‘Forget Me Not’ that feel slightly underdeveloped. ‘Stories’, for example, is a rather uneventful song. It’s a bit lightweight, floating and jangling like some otherworldly wind chime. Magi are certainly at their best when they combine their paint-stripping guitar tones with dual-style vocals, rather than drifting off into this kind of somnambulistic ambience.
Thankfully the album is, for the most part, focused and fierce. ‘Forget Me Not’ is a captivating, multi-faceted debut from a band that manages to balance sludgy, death-doom brawn with post-metal intricacy in a grey, delicate soundscape. This is an album you’re unlikely to forget anytime soon.