Mare Vitalis — The Appleseed Cast

By Darby Sawchuk

The cover, a heart, half-submerged in the deep blue sea but still protruding into the starry night, introduces us to the imagery and poetry of Mare Vitalis Appleseed Cast, who on 1998’s The End of the Ring Wars were lost and confused in sorrow, have aged lifetimes in two years. Their path is clearer and it always leads back to the peace of the sea.

Points of light in darkened skies, washed-out roads and ebbing waters compose the vivacious images of Mare Vitalis, but even more gripping is the music. Diverse melodies remain unified as an album, not merely a collection of songs. So natural, so moving, each note concurs with the symbols the sparse, genuine vocals describe.

Smooth, flowing and peaceful clean-tone riffs occasionally recall American Football or the Promise Ring’s more somber, but slightly-distorted style. Flowing like the tides that populate Appleseed Cast’s imagery, the melodies never linger too long in one place, switching elegantly from dreamy, reverberating ripples to impassioned yet somehow restrained rock.

Guitars mimic soaring gulls while exceptional, purposeful drumming knows better than to be ostentatious though it so easily could. It’s as though the drums were left alone in an interminably leaky room, drops bounce from the ringing ride cymbal while a swish emanates from the hi-hat to accompany the dribbling rhythms.

Worth the trip to the beach alone is "Forever Longing the Golden Sunsets" which, almost summarizing the album, earnestly shouts, "Flow. Tide. Ebb. Road. Night. Sky. Sand. Home. / The fair in the park by the sea in my heart is never gone."

Walk on the moonlit sand and let the waves wash you away. Appleseed Cast’s ocean will fill your lungs so mercifully.

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