I enjoyed 2020’s Between Land and Sky a great deal, which made Martaiden Mailta one I was definitely looking forward to. Marrasmieli play atmospheric black metal with a clear folk influence, but they balance this against a heart of pure blackened darkness.
The songs are engaging and rich in atmosphere, with sweeping keyboards and emotive melodies. A wide range of additional instruments and sounds are used to provide additional texture, and these are used well when they appear. These include the use of choirs, acoustic guitar, bouzouki, violin, ukulele, jaw harp, and accordion. Marrasmieli have a clear vision for their pagan black metal, and they realise this well across the 46 minutes of material here.
The melancholic moods of the keyboards are near-ubiquitous, yet still leave room for a hopeful, energetic aspect. This latter part of the band’s collective personality manifests through the use of many of the additional instruments mentioned above, as well as many of the melodies which sparkle with folk-tinged resplendence. This is nicely juxtaposed in some ways by the rhythm guitars, which are darker than much of the other instruments, especially when the band make use of a particularly heavy riff, which they occasionally do.
I have enjoyed Martaiden Mailta. Its mix of dark, forlorn black metal and brighter folk elements has made of a satisfying and highly atmospheric experience. Expressive, full of character, and well-written, the second album from Marrasmieli is an easy one to recommend.