The Pitch: Mathcore/post-hardcore out of Lüdenscheid, Germany. This is Meraine via Moments Of Collapse Records. FFO Converge, The Armed, Grieved, Nukk
What I Like: I've said it before, but I'll say it again: there is just something markedly different between European hardcore vs. North American hardcore. It's a little noisier, a little darker, and vastly colder in approach. Meraine fit this bill quite well. Everything about their sound makes me want to reach for a jacket. Nothing about Meraine sounds studio; clearly this debut was recorded on some lonely, frost-bitten expanse further north. And the post-hardcore screams have such venom behind them. They set a tone that goes personal struggles to the weight of the world as a whole. With simple, yet highly expressive, one word titles like "Entropy" and "Marrow," much meaning is conveyed as harshly and concisely as possible. Similarly the music milks the heck out of mostly 2-3 minute tracks with both technical showmanship and tight songwriting; and yet they pull off the occasional atmospheric 5-6 minute ones just as well.
Critiques: I'm not sure I have much to add here. Meraine don't sound all that different from a number of other groups I have reviewed in the past few years, but they do show twinges of uniqueness in their transitions to almost ambient elements.
The Verdict: A very strong debut that flew under my radar last year. If you like that raunchy fusion of really bitter hardcore styles in the vein of Converge, but with a more European twist, Meraine is a band that you should know.
Flight's Fav's: Teeth, Limbs, Rusted Veins