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For a hardcore/metal band, Marathon’s debut LP ‘Cure’ has quite the melodic opening. ‘Black River’, the album’s first song features anthemic drums, acoustic guitar, and chanting vocals, this is of course before it explodes into a haze of distortion and screams, essentially bringing things more in line with what you would expect.
From here it is short bursts of mayhem and chaos starting with the album’s title track, which manages to feature plenty of guitar noodling to break up all the thrash. The one minute long ‘Quiet Decline’ fits plenty into its small time slot, changing up the song’s pace with varying degrees of heaviness before ‘The Long Way Out’ provides a slight break from the tornado and moves to a more melodic place, still rough around the edges but a marker of change.
This record could very easily have slipped into the wave of thrash metal that refuses to have any sort of dynamic or structure, but Marathon, with this track and its follower, the folk metal ‘Guide Her To the End’, which sounds like the ballad of a really pissed off cowboy, show that the boundaries of this genre are continually changing.
Not to take away from the other members of the group, but the drum work on ‘In Shadows’, and honestly throughout the whole record, is on another level and really gives this record its energy.
Mixed by James Balderstone at Capital Games Studios and produced by Chris Brownbill at Sun Distortion, ‘Cure‘ sounds amazing. With some very clear definition within what can at times be a haze of mess, it all seems to make sense and flow extremely well.
Closing off the evil riffs with ‘Buried’, which are offset by some more impressive drum work, and ‘The Bonds That Break’, possibly one of the more intense songs on the record and easily the most frantic, Marathon have opted for the big finish and it has worked in their favour.
‘Cure’ is relentless in its delivery but is sure to cover some different shades to keep you interested. Essentially, the progressive elements of this hardcore/thrash metal outing are what makes it a worthwhile listen.
1. Black River
3. Fragile Things
4. Quiet Decline
5. The Long Way Out
6. Guide Her To The End
7. Faith & Betrayal
8. In Shadows
9. Turn To Dust
11. The Bonds That Break