Motherdome - Wisdom Bearer (EP) (2014)

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The one time fad of global metal has proven to be far more lasting than many critics would have guessed. All over the globe, new bands, projects, albums and songs are cropping up, millions more every day. Some polished, others still in the formative stages. But, in most instances, worth hearing. In the case of Motherdome, the band of one from Belišće, Croatia, it is music not just worth hearing, but enjoying as well. While lone survivor Gip hasn't formed a full identity yet, he uses elements of stoner, doom, thrash, and prog to get from point A, the albums opener, to point B, the last echoing riff. It isn't a straight line, by any means; but rather a zig zag pattern of genres and styles that is more polished than most, but far from perfected. On his latest work, a four track EP titled Wisdom Bearer, he gives you reason to think 2015 might be a good year for Croatian metal.

It doesn't take long for the strengths and weaknesses to make themselves known. The former, the driving, sometimes acrobatic riffs that Wisdom Bearer injects; the latter, the unfortunately stunted mix. While it isn't a garage quality affect, there is a fair bit of muffling in the full band sections, reducing some of the necessary pop. Gib makes every effort to overcome this shortcoming, and does an admirable job of making it sound larger than life. The positive in it all comes in songs like Neglected From The Temple of Beneficence, where drums and guitars gain much needed momentum. It is certainly the riffs that provide the biggest boost, with each section adding another level of energy to the one before and after. Something rings true here, as if he's found his stride and can pinpoint where it goes from here

And if the true sound of Motherdome started there, it reaches a steep peak on Aeons of Astral Wake. Forging an identity is all the more important to a one man band, and Gib doesn't stumble, but stomps his way into a winning formula. His layering of guitars finally jumps through your speakers, rhythm and lead. The bridge that leads into the three minute mark is a neck breaker, showing signs of versatility before a chugging conclusion. Something worth noting, also, is the track lengths. Keeping them relatively short, by comparison, helps to create a logical beginning, middle and end. Even the closing track, which stands at nearly six minutes, never has time to get stale or boring. On Heavens In Ruins, the flow is weighed down with thick, stoner riffs. This is not an indictment, but a praise of the change of pace. The album ebbs and flows, and this is just he biggest tidal wave. From down tempo crunching to a high speed thrash, you run the gauntlet of riffing here.

Through all of the side to side movements you are subjected to in four songs and roughly twenty minutes, there is, indeed, a common thread between them. This is a riff driven EP, which sounds obvious, but it runs deeper. Should main man Gip choose to expand upon these ideas for his forthcoming full length, he might just find himself in the mainstream of stoner metal. The way he plays, the way he stacks his chords onto one another, isn't a far cry from the best this genre has had to offer of late. By spending a bit more time on the recording, mixing and mastering, he might even be able to a layer in clarity alone. With that kind of small, yet significant improvement, the Motherlode name will certainly garner a great deal of interest from parts of the globe where Croatia might not even be identifiable on the map.


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