MARY- Die After Death (Review)
Updated: Oct 1
One of the most cliched visions in my mind consists of a car at night, driving faster than the speed limit while fog floats around the ground. I feel that this is a vision that not only gets stuck in my head, but also gets stuck in the head of Kuba Rygal, a Toronto-based artist who releases music under the moniker MARY. Die Before Death is an exploration of the light and dark one sees in their true self. MARY take us through this journey by giving us Gothic, Post-Punk sounding music that still finds a way to be tinged with a certain brightness and hope at times. The music is quite dark and cynical, but also has the catchiness to allow it to be played at a loud volume at a huge stadium.
The descriptions that I have used thus far for this record by MARY may be raising some red flags to some readers, but I can assure you that this is a completely different ballpark than classic ‘Gothic’ sounding New-Wave artists. You know the ones I’m talking about. On Die Before Death MARY finds a way to use this Gothic sound and make something completely relevant with it, like the cynical intro on the third track of this album, ‘Frantic,’ that leads into completely translucent, plucky synths throughout this standout song that I could see doing VERY well on Alternative Radio. Let’s make this happen.
Another inspiration that flows throughout this record that is quite relevant to ‘Frantic’ is mid-2000’s alternative music. Again, the cynicism flows throughout this record and, even though I am a reviewer who tries to refrain from saying this artist sounds like _____, I feel as if I cannot get through this article without writing about how I get a huge Interpol vibe to a lot of the vocals on this record. This is not really a bad thing, and again, one of the brilliant moves on MARY’s part is the fact that they can really write a song and craft it into this enjoyable experience. The vocals feature a lot of reverb at times and are delivered in what I would classify as an ‘over the top’ fashion, which again adds to the emotion of this album that I think is a very clever move on MARY’s part.
While the songs are all really eventful and full of life, I feel as if this record does lack a sense of variety throughout. Again, MARY knows what they are doing and they do it well, but I cannot wait to see if MARY can figure out what is next for this sound and how the idea can expand. I would love to see growth within the type of song that can come out of this project. A great example is the song ‘Little Mess’ because it seems like a song that doesn’t quite know what it wants to be. There are eerie, quiet moments on it, but it still sounds very loud and could use a little bit more fine tuning to kind of scale it back to make this track work in the favor of what Die Before Death is as an album.
MARY is a project that really impressed me, I did not think that something like this could catch me off guard, but it truly did. There is a lot of energy and passion on this project that goes a far way, and it is something that I will be listening to the next time I need a good album to take with me on a late night drive.
Favorite Tracks: Frantic, Light of War, Growth, Devouring Me
Least Favorite Tracks: Little Mess, Life Can Be So Cold
Listen to the standout track, 'Frantic,' by MARY below: