Moscow’s МАЯК Pack Desperate Melodic Hardcore On Shimmering New Release

The Moscow-based group МАЯК — whose name is apparently pronounced “Mayak” and means “lighthouse” — perform an emotionally hard-hitting slab of desperation-wracked melodic hardcore on their compelling new record Срыв, which is apparently pronounced “Sryv” and means “breakdown.”

The shimmering songs surge with disjointed energy, as if the album kicked off at a point after emotional turmoil has already set in and left a growing trail of destruction. The songs’ core ingredient list features angular, hard-hitting rhythms that feel like a jangling roller-coaster and deliver a metaphorical defibrillator shock straight to the chest. The rich emotional energy coursing through the off-kilter rhythms feels instantly palpable, as if tensely reaching through a sonically outlined void towards a kind of security that’s just out of reach.

While the music definitely feels intense, the songs don’t seem physically overwhelming, with no real lurches into overt hardcore. This repeated breathability amidst the emotionally stormy and generally overcast rhythms feels clear right from track two and beyond. On track three, the group leans even further into gentler melodies, although the comparatively lowered energy leaves core raw desperation on an even brighter display. The jangling, urgent melodies feel like they’re reverberating with an emotional ache that comes from deep within.

The guitar tones lean towards a kind of lush shoegaze, although they don’t go all the way in, leaving the music in a kind of melodic hardcore aesthetic. There’s an expansive persistence in the energy of the music; much of the music doesn’t overflow with frenzy, no matter the ever-present well of tension. Instead, there’s a weighted peace, like a feeling of the certainty of knowing — even if the result isn’t overly bright, closure can have its benefits.

Track five returns to more upbeat energy, but the raw desperation hanging onto the corners of the music never disappears, and track six re-amps up this punk/ hardcore element of the music further. The emotionally pained, roared vocals, which stay at a rather consistent tone throughout the record, help solidify the core experience of tumult. The gradual intensification of the swirling pain across the record makes the music feel like a soundtrack for staring into a mirror and suddenly feeling antagonism towards your own face. The music confronts pain straight-on.

5/5 Stars

Listen to Cрыв below!