“Angels Of Destruction, the Angel of Redemption’s got you beat,” proclaims Dave Bielanko on the title track of Marah’s latest album. And those aren’t the only angels to be found here. There are Angels of Mercy, Angels on a Passing Train and angels that will “rip your chest open and fill it with flowers.”
As you might imagine, the presence of this chorus of angels indicates that there are some weighty topics at hand here. Sure enough, the band addresses themes of religion, redemption, destruction and the struggle for sobriety in a world awash in blood and whiskey.
The album’s best songs include the tender relationship drama “Angels On A Passing Train,” the harrowing recovery anthem “Old Time Tickin’ Away” and a reminder that the joys in life lie in the simple things on the album’s title track. This is Marah’s most mature work to date (though they would probably hate the use of that word), and the band’s first stable lineup after years of changing casts is no small factor in that growth.
If you’re a Marah fan, sometimes it feels like you’re screaming from a mountaintop and no one is listening. I’ve grown tired of predicting that each successive album will be their breakthrough. So I’ll make it simple: get this album, because when you see it at the top of the list of 2008’s best albums, you’ll wish you had.