Like an anthem to the reasons there is even a genre called "emo," Mare Vitalis is a record of pure feeling for people who think a lot, heavy on flow, flowing on heavy. Flow from the equally dreamy and dreary sparseness of long, edgy buildups, emphasized by carefully articulated drumming and unassuming swirls of clean guitar, and erupting into melodic bursts of power and explanation. Christopher Crisci's straining, honest vocals come alive after heart-wrenching musical peaks and valleys symbolized through crescendo and decrescendo as well as masterful use of intensity and lull. The atmosphere is kept on constant edge, and the untraditional rhythmic creations of drummer Josh Baruth make Appleseed's cast signatory. Even more emphatically "head" music than their debut full-length, The End of the Ring Wars, this record illustrates the ability of adults to make music both nurtured and impressive while simultaneously capturing the zeitgeist of hardcore rebellion. Recorded by Ed Rose in the spacious Red House Recording Studio in Eudora, KS, the high-ceilings and big-rock sound notable to his production legacy cater well to this recording, allowing the band's depth and mass to breath and take up every available inch of space. The end result is a captured work of dark beauty, a challenge to fully grasp, but a great starting point in their developing catalog.
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AllMusic Review by Nicholas Gordon