Hype is a Hell of a drug, and it seems like everyone who happens upon a line of Conjurer’s mightily impressive debut can’t help but get addicted and build that train. Just do a quick search, and you’ll notice that the metal world is all over Mire, and deservedly so. While I cannot quite get over how amazing this record is – especially for a debut, no less – what makes my mental mouth water is the possibility and sheer “holy shit” potential shown throughout this magnificent first outing. There’s an insane amount of confidence and flair shown throughout this dexterous release. If Conjurer can keep up their sense of sonic adventure (more in a minute), we could see the growth of the next great metal band. However, even if they stagnate, their creative floor is still quite captivating.
For starters, Conjurer’s name choice is an apt one, as their sonic witches’ brew certainly, uh, conjures up quite the musical force. This progressive musical stew borrows from prog, death, sludge, black, and post-metal (to name a few), and what’s maybe the second most impressive aspect of the record is Conjurer’s ability to smooth out the potential for rough edges when melding so many styles. This isn’t haphazard metal; it’s multi-faceted and magnificent; the sense of musical adventure starts with that first sonic boom halfway through “Choke” and is mostly kept up in the following tracks. Their style has some important reference points, notably Mastodon, Gojira, Opeth, The Ocean, and Altar of Plagues. That’s not a subtle list, but it’s to the group’s credit that Mire never sounds like a collection of disparate big-name influences. It’s a powerful musical punch of potent potables, and it’s quite easily drinkable for an extreme metal release.
What binds everything together is Conjurer’s expert riff-craft (is that a word yet), as each disparate style is fused together by the bonds of holy riff-matrimony. Even when the record (ever so slightly) dips in quality when it gets too doom-infected in a couple tracks (“Thankless” and the title track, namely), you’re never far from a jaw-dropping section. The musical suspense and delivery (I suppose there could be a couple “jump scares” if this were a horror film) is impeccable, and it’s impossible not to be swept up in its majesty. However, considering there is just a tiny bit of room for improvement, one is left with the sense that Conjurer’s initial entry is more the start of something bigger than a grand entrance before a big let-down. Mire is easily going to be one of metal’s biggest debuts this year, but here’s hoping that translates to something even better in a couple years.