Cities of Mars – Cities of Mars (Review)

Cities of Mars - Cities of MarsThis is the third album from Swedish doom metal band Cities of Mars.

Cities of Mars offers a richly textured doom experience that combines elements of sludge, stoner, and ambient into itself. The promo blurb says that Cities of Mars is for fans of Mastodon, Kylesa, Sleep, Baroness, and The Sword, and that’s as good a place  as any to start with.

Heavy riffs form the bedrock of much of the material, with the band making good use of their doomy groove to build the rest of the musical structures upon. All three band members contribute vocals, so there’s a good mix of cleans and rough singing, (with the main emphasis on the former). Deep atmospheres share space with memorable hooks, as the band take the listener on a journey across a sludgy sci-fi themed soundscape.

The band show good diversity and creativity within their chosen style; synths and electronic effects are laced into the music here and there, the vocal harmonies from the three capable singers are well-used, and the occasional use of lighter moments or acoustic guitar is tastefully done, (of the latter, Song of a Distant Earth (Hathra) is notable for being entirely acoustic).

Cities of Mars is a very enjoyable album with many layers to peel back. It’s a firm grower that rewards the listener who spends time getting to know the intricate world that the band have created. On their third album Cities of Mars have crafted a detailed and enjoyable doom/sludge metal release.

Highly recommended.

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