Mara | Mondrem by CopseRelease date: February 25, 2022
As someone who generally battles and butchers the English language, writing reviews can feel a meritless battle to get feelings into words. However, there are so many moments that overpower the struggle and the debut release by Copse is one such example. The wonderful folks at A Certain Taste blog pointed the band in my direction knowing I would love it and they sure weren’t wrong. Mara | Mondrem is the result of a lockdown project gone serious and has soaring post-hardcore wrapped in a stunning post-black metal framework. Not only did this release leave me feeling ridiculously happy but also desperate for more.
The intro to ‘Mara’ is quite calm but it doesn’t take long to explode into life. The guitar work on the cleaner moments reminds me of the much missed Rinoa but when the black metal tinges emerge the track hits as hard as Celeste at full pelt. The real surprise I found in the opening moments was hearing Ed Garrood-Gibbs, from Devil Sold His Soul, sounding revived and as fresh as 15 years ago with his vocals screaming and soaring over the crescendoing guitar. On ‘Modrem’ the combination of brilliance continues and the drum work really stands out with a battery of blasts as well as delicious fills and a tremendous beat.
The overall sound is ultimately uplifting and it certainly has the Jonny Renshaw production qualities to it with everything perfectly balanced and clear. What the band manages to do so well is make the guitars positive with a transcendental aura but never fall into the ruts left behind by Deafheavn or Møl. Nothing here is sugar coated and it never falls into a post-rock trudge. By blackening a post-hardcore background Copse manages to find a space for itself with two excellent tracks and to think, this is just the beginning.