Friday 13 January 2017

Mars Era - Dharmanaut (Album Review) and Exclusive Album Stream

Release date: January 20th 2017. Label: Argonauta Records. Format: CD/DD

Dharmanaut – Tracklisting

Enemy Was a Friend of Mine
The Leap
Red Eclipse
Desolate Wasteland

Band Members

M. Verdelli _guitars
D. Ferrara_vocals
L. Storai_bass
T. Tassi_drums


It's time for another quality release from Argonauta Records. This time they’ve signed a fairly new Italian Psychedelic Stoner/Grunge Band called Mars Era. Mars Era debut album Dharmanaut is a hard-hitting combination of Alt Rock, Grunge, Psych and Stoner Rock with trippy Space Rock vibes keeping everything together.

Opening track – Enemy Was A Friend Of Mine – takes a few moments for the heavy sound to appear though it’s still a very good song to open the album with. Grungy Spaced Out riffs with a side of heavy psychedelic noises show that Mars Era is in highly confident form. The vocals are primarily in the Alt Rock arena but with a dark soulful blues based vibe.

Second track – Emprisoned – has a dark lyrical theme held within the song with the Grunge/Stoner sounds offering a clearer and heavier experience than the opening track. Mars Era offers a doomier sound with the other elements being played in the background. You can hear shades of Soundgarden and Black Sabbath in this song and certain parts of the album at times.

Third track – The Leap – is a nine minute plus epic with Mars Era finally starting to make cool original sounds of their own. The song opens with heavy psychedelic guitar riffs that start very slowly before the lead vocalist puts in another impressive vocal performance. The song is very progressive in parts as it can be broken down into individual chapters as the band move from one genre to the next. Space, Grunge, Stoner and Psych Rock all expertly played.

The first three songs is a good indication on what to fully expect with the remaining four songs on the album. Heavy Psychedelic riffs with the band showing a keen ear for sonic experimentation on the final two songs – Lincancabur and Desolate Wasteland. Two more epic songs where Mars Era proves once again they have a talent for writing progressive catchy riffs and intriguing lyrics to match.

The final track – Desolate Wasteland – is the standout track as it’s a majestic ride that opens with quietly played swirling psychedelic noises before the heavy riffs appear. The vocals has shades of John Garcia matched against Tool-esque riffs.

Dharmanaut feels like a concept album of sorts. The album has a beginning, middle and end with each part offering a different sound that allows Mars Era to make a lasting impression. The album is superbly produced which is surprising since Argonauta Records are releasing this album. Argonauta Records always release well-produced albums and they always sound top-notch. Still overall credit has to goto Mars Era for creating an intriguing and well executed album that flows naturally from start to finish.

If you’re in the mood for a Progressive Space/Grunge/Stoner Rock album packed full of heavy noises then Dharmanaut is the album for you. Mars Era has delivered a well-crafted and brilliantly entertaining album.

Excellent and Highly Recommended.

Words by Steve Howe

Thanks to Barbara at NeeCee Agency. Thanks to Gero at Argonauta Records for allowing me to stream this excellent album. Dharmanaut will be available to buy on CD/DD/Vinyl from January 20th 2017 via Argonauta Records.

You can listen to the album below. Play this one LOUD!!!!