Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Duo does the heavy lifting on menacing metal album

  • Print

222She is, of course, a liar. Indeed, for a good 15 minutes before uttering the statement, the vocalist and guitarist for metal duo, Mares of Thrace, provides endless examples that contradict her claim.

Take, for starters, that Lanz will be taking something of a hiatus from the band after this current North American tour, in order to go to school in Chicago for video-game design. Or take, too, the knowledge that MacKichan's passion is collecting large spiders, reptiles and bugs: "Most people who see a cockroach or silverfish crawling up the wall of the house they're staying in lose their s . Stef got really excited and tried to capture it."

February marks 10 years the two have been making music together, in various bands and configurations. How did the Calgary friends celebrate such a momentous occasion?

"It's funny you should ask," Lanz says, laughing. "We went to In the Heat of the Night at the zoo, which is this romantic thing, where you get this lavish buffet dinner, and then all the zoologists talk about animal sex. We were the only people there who weren't old, and we were definitely the only same-sex couple there.... It was wonderful."

The musical duo have produced a Valentine for the rest of us: a dark, viscous, relentlessly foreboding strain of metal-meets-sludge rock. And a bloody great one it is, at that.

The Pilgrimage, Mares of Thrace's sophomore effort, was released in April on Canadian label Sonic Unyon Metal (home to such acts as Montreal's Voivod and Hamilton's Threat Signal). Reviews for the album in, and out, of the metal community have been uniformly glowing, save for, Lanz notes, some "Dutch guy" their publicist told them about. "He hated it so much, it was like the hatred of 10 lesser people," the singer says, almost in awe.

Recorded last year in Chicago, The Pilgrimage is an unabashedly and wonderfully strident album. Before hitting the studio, the duo hit the road to test the 10 songs that would eventually appear on the new album.

"I don't personally feel a song has been born properly until we've played it live a few times," says Lanz. "I also like people's reactions to it live."

Musically, Lanz says the band's sound falls on the metal side of things, but she also thinks Pilgrimage references bands such as Surgery, Helmet and Unsane, as much as it does Slayer.

Lyrically, there are the obvious dark themes, but there's also the mythological side of the record, most notably, the Christian imagery, which they think is backed up by the album's title.

"I think people are making more of a big deal out of that than I'd intended," Lanz admits. "It's more as if each song represents a little f ed-up character, and The Pilgrimage is their procession through my brain, as it were," she says.

If they don't quite conjure up that cast of weirdos for you, sonically speaking, they're more than happy to do it for you visually. The visceral video for the first single from the new album, The Perpetrator, allows MacKichan to indulge her creepy-crawly hobby.

"We were wondering, 'OK, how are we going to top the last (video)? How are we going to top disembowelling and torturing Stef's boyfriend?'" Lanz laughs.

With its pairing of food with bugs, their latest video is fittingly disgusting. "It seems to be garnering the kinds of reactions we wanted," says Lanz. "And there's only times in one's life that one gets to use the phrase, 'Maybe if we microwave the lasagna it'll make the maggots squirm harder.'"

-- Postmedia News

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition May 5, 2012 G12

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Lindor Reynolds speaks candidly about life with terminal cancer

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • A group of Horese pose for the camera in the early evening light at Southcreek Stables in Stl Norbert Wednessday. Sept  14, 2011 (RUTH BONNEVILLE) / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
  • A young gosling flaps his wings after taking a bath in the duck pond at St Vital Park Tuesday morning- - Day 21– June 12, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Has the attack on Parliament hill shaken your faith in Canada's ability to protect its citizens from terrorist threats?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google