1000 CD's made.
Just played the selftitled Mary Bell album for the third time, and oh my
gosh, how incredibly foul-tempered this is pouring from the speakers. From the opener 'Stone The Matyr', which almost makes you think you're dealing with Toadliquor's overdue 3rd output, to the final track 'Delirium', which perfectly combines Fleshpress groove with Khanatesque drought, slowly rolling about with Moss-like vocal work… Well if those gentlemen from the Netherlands haven't crafted a first-rate prospectus for themselves here…very sweet...
Mary Bell is probably the only real sludge doom band in all of the Netherlands. People who are familiar with the genre know what to expect; long slow songs with a real nasty and filthy sound. The vocals sound very disgusting from both Pit and Friso. Besides the nastiness the next important thing is a groove. And there is one hell of an intoxicating groove in Mary Bell, might it a be an extremely slow one of course. And all this combined bulldozes through your speakers into your ear holes ending up in your THC-drenched brain. With this genre a lower recording quality makes everything sound even better, or dirtier I might say. It's on one hand very relaxing, but on the other you kind of get a little aggressive from it, depending on the mood you're in. The drone-like ending of 'Delirim' is a great listen right before passing out in bed.
Behind the assuming moniker, actually that of an infamous child murderous, lurks an outfit possesed of a formidable fury and truly heinous heaviosity.
This Dutch foursome are purveyors of a weapons-grade sludgeattack that steers admirably clear of Vinum Sabbathi stoner/doom cliche, indeed one that has the decencyto sound instead like a genuine wander into the eldritch realms of cosmic horror and mental illness. Less playfull than Iron Monkey yet less abstract than Khanate, and with a truly unnerving vocal attack not altogether unlike the product of some tasty Moss/Buzzov.en hybrid, this five-track flagellation-fest deftly spices up it's snail's pace dirges with a palpable violence of delivery. A nicely nihilistic dredge throughuntold sewers of human wreckage, with a fierce force of intent thankfully far removed from the slightly dilettante-ish, clod-hopping attempts at sludge/doom fast cluttering up it's scene. Yet more proof positive that, though there's little here you won't have heard before, now and again a good crawl across broken glass can be just the tortuous and terrifying ticket.
(7.5 Jim Martin, Terrorizer magazine 160 Aug 2007)
I have in my hands the first album for the unknown dutch band Mary Bell. It has been edited by the small label from Carcaixent Trabuc records, oriented to grind, crust and punkhardcore. For the label Mary bell goes on the way of Sludge-Doom, I can't say if this description is certain but I assure that their music is extremelly anguish, dense, repetitive, with some metallic touches. With an hysteric agonic voices, more in the way of the slowliest and oppresive Black metal. Musically it doesn't sounds as Black, the drums has got a big presence and it brings rythm that stripping cords sorrounds always in second place under the voice and the drums. The layout is dark and poor as it should be in a band of this genre.
This is a good surprise for someone who usually don't listen this style.
"Fall foul of death, screamed the violent hordes
And on dope filled lungs of promised revenge
Our chorus rose to hate filled skies
with faces contorted in sardonic grin
release us from the burden of life
and let us rejoice in your depression,
we will kill you all........"
I included this text, written on the albums inlay, because I feel it describes this music so well. In particular the screamed vokills by Pit is filled to the brim with utter contempt. Mary Bell is a band that continues a tradition started by Grief, 13 and Noothgrush, a tradition of slow, raw and inhuman doom/sludge. The production is a tad better than on the underground vinyl releases that's so common among the three aforementioned, but the sound itself has been taken a notch towards the more extreme. This is black bile in concentrated form. A Mary Bell party is a flop if anyone
Mary Bell hails from Utrecht (even the town name have an aggressive taste!) in the Netherlands. This self-titled album was recorded in june 2005, nearly two years before it was released and only one year after the band was founded. Yet this sounds more promising than many bands who have played for years. It's almost as if they were born to hate. This hatred is perhaps best shown in the 24 minute epic (yes, it lasts half the album!), 'Delirium'. It's almost like mixing the strongest stuff made by Tyranny and mixing it with blood from a freshly slit throat.
The direction that Mary Bell has taken combines many of my favourite elements in filthy doom metal. As such it has come to be one of my favourites in the genre. Sludge-doomsters who like it extreme should take a close listen to this. It cuts your soul with a knife, so don't be surprised if your ears bleed a little.
Arnstein H. Pettersen)
"There have been times, when I really loved the genre Sludge, and I'm still a fan of the first wave of Sludge bands. Nowadays it seems, that everyone who smokes too much weed or drinks too much alcohol, must start a Sludge band. You don't need to have any songwriting talent, because you play in a sick band, and so you only need to torture the listener with a bunch of heavy riffs. But, of course, you must have a fat sound, because when nobody remembers your songs, they have to remember, that you use a Sunn or Green amp. Although you think, that you're sick, you're a gear snob. To those bands I simply say: Fuck off. In two years nobody will remember your annoying shit! I'm really glad to report, that MARY BELL have not much in common with people like that. OK, they have a fat and monolithic doom-drenched sound, but this Dutch band can write real cool songs, that are still sounding sick, bleak and angry. The production is very good and all four songs gave you a nice ride into the abyss of the human soul. The small Spanish label Trabuc Records was really impressed from this band, and so they released the debut from MARY BELL. As long as new Sludge bands are so talented like this guys, I won't lose the rest of interest in heavy Sludge. Thumbs up for MARY BELL!"
(cosmic lava )
Ahora que el Sludge fumeta empieza a estar en auge y empiezan a salir grupos del montón es toda una alegría dar con MARY BELL que, lejos de ser algo nuevo u original, mantienen la línea de ELECTRIC WIZARD, SLEEP, los padres BLACK SABBATH y demás maestros de la agonía hecha música, salvando muchas distancias, claro. De acuerdo, no han innovado, no han hecho méritos para conseguir una valoración tan positiva del álbum… éso parece a primera vista. Porque cuando, tras una primera escucha difícil e intrínsecamente suculenta, luego damos con un grupo tan extremadamente tortuoso que se hace incluso agradable. Esos acoples constantes dan el mismo dolor de cabeza y sensación de angustia que el constante ruido industrial de la pieza maestra de Lynch, "Eraserhead", y esa sensación claustrofóbica como pocas es todo un logro porque, aunque no lo parezca, conseguir esa sensación no es nada fácil estando casi todo inventado a estas alturas. La voz distorsionada y gritada recuerda a unos CORRUPTED pasados de hierba y LSD… así que, evidentemente, resulta una más que deliciosa sensación para los oídos. Por no hablar del último corte, que pasa volando, de poco más que 24 estupendos minutos, toda una oda al abuso de sustancias ilegales en el cementerio… aunque, de hecho, éso puede aplicarse al resto del disco, porque creedme, pocos grupos tan negros como el tizón he visto dentro del estilo…
MORBID VISION webzine.