The Mire – Vice Regalia

a1848591908_16 (1)UK’s The Mire is a black metal band fond of experimentation, and not so much of preconceived ideas about the genre. They’ve been active since 2009 with a two-song demo, and Vice Regalia is their most recent release, which classifies as an EP, clocking in at just under 25 minutes. Unfortunately, the band has announced this release as their final one, and apparently won’t be making new music anymore.

The band blends clean singing with different styles of harsh vocals, which pulls them towards the side of avant-garde black metal just a little, sound-wise. To that is added their experimentation, which is in almost every song they make: from the use of uncommon instrumentation to their complete genre-switching. It’s nothing whacky or that you’d think it belongs in a blood-drenched circus, but it’s wild enough to make you ask if it’s still the same band playing. The most blatant example of this is the song “Rain Gallery”, which is so different from anything else on this record, yet oddly feels at the right place. Their blend of black metal is, at the same time, more on the post-metal and transcendental black side of things, which makes songs like “Hell Libertine” a real entrancing experience.

It’s really too bad they dissolute, for I thought I had found myself a new favourite black metal band. I guess I’ll have to dig into their older material. For the time being, however, Vice Regalia is one of the best releases this year.