The Marigold – “Apostate” (Coffin & Bolt Records)
Battle Helm Rating
Unlike their bright flowering namesake, this Italian post sludge rock band are decidedly doomier and gloomier although no less beautiful in their blossom of darkness! Formed by guitarist / keyboardist / vocalist Marco Campitelli in 1998, The Marigold have gone through different line-up changes into the present trio completed by bassist Stefano Micolucci and Lorenzo Di Lorenzo on drums, while returning to produce this album is Toshi Kasai (Melvins), who also guests on guitar, tambourine, synth, sleigh bell and spring cowbell along with Adam Harding (Dumb Numbers, Kidbug) on guitars – together producing the band’s heaviest release to date! Regarded as one of the longest running bands in the Italian alternative rock scene, their seasoned musicianship is just what it takes to pull off the unconventional style of the music and as the grim guitar tones and feedback herald ‘Goat Goth Gone’, the down tuned riffs and bass hit you with doom depression unparalleled made all the more morose by Campitelli’s despairing vocals, sinking in the sorrow even more as his guitar snakes its twisted melodies to his unintelligible rasps leading to the (merciful) end. Heavily crunching in those prominently catchy basslines on ‘Mono Lith’, Campitelli’s echoing voice takes on trance proportions broken occasionally by shimmering melodies in its slow, ambient first half until it kicks off into a higher tempo bass driven groove that is no less addictive in both its heaviness and its hooks – superb. Grimly droning in on the 7 1/2 minute ‘Loser In Lines’, the smog clears to a stylish mix of clean (but still deep) basslines, tranquil guitar melodies and Kasai’s sleigh bell mid song before the drone of its depression sinks its teeth back in magnificently to bite you in superb culmination. Composed and played to perfection through the confidence of an unhurried performance that keeps your attention throughout, “Apostate” has only served to make me a true believer in the brilliance of The Marigold.