I don’t know who originally coined the phrase “slow and steady wins the race”, but never was it more apt than when describing BRUME’s latest album Marten which is the perfect antidote for the modern stressful world. This slow paced, silky smooth as chocolate album is perfect for the wee small hours on those days when you just can’t relax, because by the end of it you will be more chilled than an Artic winter.

If you choose to embark upon this melancholy trip with Californian based band BRUME, what you get is a very far cry from exotic cocktails, sandy beaches, and bright sunshine! What you do get instead however is a cool blend of gothic, doom and indie rock that will gently bring you back down to Earth.

There are certainly several different avenues being explored throughout Marten without BRUME ever really straying too far off piste. The cello forms an integral part of this musical adventure with BRUME and plays just as much of a leading role as the good old fashioned electric guitar, which I would say is extremely rare for a rock/metal album.

Tracks like the lovely The Yearn also include gospel harmonies along with Susie McMullan’s dreamy vocals, whereas the much darker Heed Me is much more traditional and folk influenced in its construction with chanted/guttural vocals.

Stand out track and the one I enjoyed the most is the almost acappella song Run Your Mouth with its emotionally endearing vocals being accompanied only by a solitary cello, as they both pull on your heart strings in equal measure.

For those connoisseurs who like something a little heavier on the bass with a bit more emphasis on the guitar there are tracks like New Sadder You and How Rude which even kicks things up a slight notch as well as introducing some brutal vocals to the mix.

Meanwhile at the other end of the spectrum, songs like Jimmy and Otto’s Song are much more deft and lighter on the ears to the point of almost being therapeutic with their haunting vocals and weeping string arrangements being more than capable of bringing a tear to your eye. These beautiful tunes are the musical equivalent of a comforting warm embrace!

I don’t know if BRUME is a Faux Savior or not, but their fuzzy headed anthem of the same name is about as deeply depressing as they get with a gloriously gloomy ode to despair that will drag you right down to the pits of hell! Absolutely lovely!

Marten by BRUME is a truly awesome album if you are looking for something to help you wind down at the end of a very hectic or busy day/week, but if you are looking for something to lift your mood then you definitely need to seek your musical medication elsewhere. Marten is what I would call one of those Marmite type albums, so if you like me are a fan of the old yeast extract then you will love it and thoroughly enjoy what BRUME have created here.

Mark Waight