The new album, ‘Remain In Stasis’ by progressive rock/metal artist Marc Durkee is set for release later this month, and is a compelling evolution of his musical style. Where earlier albums are softer and mellower, his last album ‘Traveller’ was heavier and more riff-focused. It follows that ‘Remain In Stasis’ is of a similar style to this.
The album opens with The Dark Dimension, the opening riff of which has a cool rhythm to it that continues through the whole song. The verses are reminiscent of ‘Dead End Kings’-era Katatonia, quiet and restrained, and lead to more explosive cymbal-smashing choruses. A surprise synth part comes in a little over the halfway mark that compliments the guitar riff nicely. This then flows into a heavier chug before heading back into one final chorus and outro, which is the intro riff again.
A Way To Escape is a very dynamic song, featuring predominantly acoustic verses with electric choruses. Having the combination of electric and acoustic riffs balances the song nicely; together with the slow rhythm makes it a very pleasant song to listen to.
Flowing on from that is the ambient Mimesis; this song is purely instrumental and is full of sweet and delicate guitar riffs. Drums are gentle and complement the overall feel of the song. A Great Disdain adds a change of mood from the last song, opening with plenty of dissonant crunchy chords. The verses are clean and vocal harmonies feature heavily here, as well as in the choruses. Just over halfway a slinky guitar solo breaks up the ringing chord progressions. With harsh lyrics sung over the dissonance, it creates an overall unsteady mood.
Ringing intro chords in Redesign flow into dynamic verses that feature smashing cymbals and ringing guitars, but also choppy riffs at the end of each. The choruses also explode afterwards. The lyrics are deep and from what I can hear explore reflecting on the past and using that to change in future.
The Mind Flayer opens with a more bass-heavy riff paired with a pounding tom drum before breaking into a filled out rhythm. Vocal harmonies ring throughout the whole song during both the clean verses and more energetic choruses, and they complement the low chord work beautifully.
A change of pace again with A Number Of Years – this time a heavily acoustic song. The combination soft vocals and acoustic guitar puts you at ease while listening regardless of what the lyrics are. The string section in the background between verses fills out the song and adds an extra layer of depth that takes the song to another level. A little bit of a swing in the rhythm sets the song apart from the rest of the album.
Not Without Sin is a shorter acoustic piece. The lyrics in this song can be relatable for many people as it touches on the age-old “nobody’s perfect” idea. There are hints of electric guitar licks here and there, which gives the song a bit of variety besides the acoustic chords.
The pace and mood both pick up again with Meteor – different rhythm, guitar harmonies in the verses, smashing choruses, and a little bit of double-kick action in the right places. The songs opens with high energy; crashing cymbals, smashing guitar chords but then develops into a clean complex verse riff complete with harmonies. The song ends as abruptly as it starts.
The final song on the album, Stasis is a slower tune again, with the same rhythm as Meteor but slower in tempo. While it is predominantly electric it is quite mellow, similar to the acoustic songs. There is a sweet little guitar riff between each verse that fills out the space. Again, vocal harmonies add emotion and depth to the song. About a third of the way through the song there features a small instrumental part before the vocals return, and you can hear the feeling and pain in them. The vocal return is short, followed by an ambient instrumental part (with some background deep and haunting spoken words) that continues to the end of the song.
Overall this album is exceptional and was a great listening experience. I think there was a really good balance between the upbeat and energetic electric songs as well as some more melancholy and mood-shifting acoustic numbers. Marc Durkee created a wonderful thing with ‘Remain In Stasis’, and while I can hear the influences he made it his own. I would definitely look forward to the release of this one.
Pre- Order the new album HERE.