Meslamtaea & The Color Of Rain Split EP (review)

The Color Of Rain was last years’ surprise to me, and probably also the EP that I listened to the most last year. For people who’ve read my reviews before, you know I love progressive metal. I also like black metal a lot, so their unique blend of music is a perfect fit. Meslamtaea falls somewhat in the same boat, so it would only make sense for me to like them, too. Let’s dive into this split.

MeslamTaea

Besef komt in Vlagen

The split EP starts with Besef komt in vlagen, with a melodic intro and spoken word. Not too long after we dive into the melodic black we’ve come to like from Meslamtea. A massive wall of sound, build up by grinding guitars, strings, and in this track, also a few choir lines. I love the melodies on this track. The fact that this is all in Dutch is lost to me; I really cannot make out what the lyrics are, except for the occasional ‘Besef Komt In Vlagen’. It ends the same way that it started. 

Bitterzoet

Bitterzoet comes next. Similar vibes, but the lyrics are a bit more clear this time. The whole EP is filled with this melancholic feel, and that is reflected in the lyrics as well.  If you would take the heavy double bass out of this track, you might think you’re listening to a ballad. Halfway through the song it turns into the demonic black sound, to match the despair in the vocals. 

In de Spiegel staart een Onbekende

In de Spiegel staart een Onbekende is the hardest and fastest track on this EP. The melancholic feel is still there though. The orchestrations are a lot more on the forefront in this track as well. The progressive break halfway, with the trumpets, is the best part of the whole EP. And because it of it, it’s by far my favourite track on the EP. On the Meslametea side, that is. 

Samen Zielsalleen

With Samen Zielsalleen, we return to the dreamy vibes from the start of this EP. For about a minute, though. Then the double bass and the screams kick in for a rude awakening. Samen Zielsalleen is a vary diverse track, with a good mix of cleaner, more melodic parts and heaviness. The almost dreamlike parts that have been spread like sugar throughout this EP return in this track as well. Hardcore black metalheads might not like it, but I can’t get enough of it. Meslamtaea leaves us thinking with the following line on this track: ‘Als je niks hebt te verliezen, heb je niets om voor te leven’ and we couldn’t agree more. 

Meslamtaea Final thoughts:

Meslamteae makes us think about life and our own existence with this EP. It’s a vary diverse, beautifully melancholic piece of music. You can listen to it track by track, but really, it feels like one complete song, just cut into 4 different pieces. I assume Meslamtaea wants us to listen to this story as a whole, but as far as favourites: In de spiegel staart een onbekende is probably the one for me.

The Color Of Rain 

Nihil Vincit Omnia

The Color of Rain opens their part of the EP with the ominous words: ‘So, this is it, the apocalypse, the end of the world. It will all be over real soon’. With that, I wonder what’s in store for us. The sound on Nihil Vincit Omnia is a lot different than I’ve heard before from The Color Of Rain. Besides maybe And the Abyss stared back, which is also on this split EP and got released earlier. 

As The Empires Fell

As the Empires Fell brings us to the progressive guitar sound that we know from the debut album of The Color Of Rain. The almost schizophrenic vocals, the well pronounced bass. However, the dark deep vocals that we’ve heard on the intro track return here as well and they give the whole track an even deeper sound. The verse feels harder and faster than the debut EP but I’d have to listen to it again to be sure. Not that I’m complaining. Specially the epic middle part of the track is really on another level – it’s really a shame that The Color Of Rain is just a studio project ‘cause I would love to see this performed live. It’s such an emotional wall of sound that really drowns you in the music. 

And The Abyss Stared Back

And the Abyss Stared Back was, as I’ve said earlier, released prior to the split EP. Haunting vocals accompany the dreamy guitars for the intro, but than it’s straight back into the black metal double bass. Devi sounds almost like he’s preaching on this track, with his absentminded voice. The break at the end has a well-written build up towards the end, before returning to the dreamy part the track started with. 

Thus Always To Tyrants

Thus Always To Tyrants starts with a headbangable riff, and an almost non-TCOR commercial sound. It doesn’t take long for the intricate guitar riffs to return however. The Color Of Rain has an almost more mature sound throughout this whole EP, more defined, maybe. And this track is a good example of that. The story telling, the melodies, the schizophrenic vocals, the progressiveness, it’s all still there. But it feels even more cohesive. 

Take Over Me

The EP ends with Take Over Me, which again starts with the deeper vocals over an, again beautiful, progressive guitar part. The part that follows really reminds me of Dream Theater and doesn’t feel black metal at all, again, not that I’m complaining. But post black-metal, maybe? This is the type of chaos you just need to sit down and listen too. There are some recognizable parts, but each time you hear it, you hear another layer, another riff, another accent you missed the first time. That might be the best summary of The Color Of Rain, actually. The EP ends with Devi once again preaching to us, really now, for he starts with the words ‘Hear Hear’. And hear we will. More please, The Color Of Rain!

Final thoughts on The Color Of Rain

I’m again amazed by the intricate complexity of the songs. Layer upon layer, riffs that shouldn’t work together but they do. Mixing clean melodic parts with strong double bass parts and chugging guitars, psychotic vocals on top. It’s once again a progressive black metal blend that’s still unique in the scene. It feels like The Color Of Rain has matured a little, or found their unique voice even more. They take it just a little bit further than the debut EP. As far as favourites go, As the Empires Fell is probably my favourite track, but honestly, I love them all. 

Conclusion on the split EP

A split EP works best if both bands have a similar theme or similar sound. And that’s why this is a great split. Both bands sound similiar, but not the same. Each stand on their own, but they complement each other well. It’s definitely not for the average black metal listenenr, but they probably know at this point that these bands are not for them. Both Meslamtaea and The Color Of Rain make their own unique blend of black metal, and I really hope to see both of them playing live once. For now, though, we have to make do with listening to the EP. This one has been on repeat for a while now and, like TCOR’s debut, will be for a while. 

Tracklisting:

Meslamtea

  • Besef komt in vlagen
  • Bitterzoet
  • In de spiegel staart een onbekende 
  • Samenziels alleen

The Color Of Rain

  • Nihil Vincit Omnia
  • As the empires fell
  • And the abyss stared back
  • Thus always to tyrants
  • Take me over

Je vindt Meslamtea op facebook

Je vindt The Color of Rain op Facebook

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