Canadian two-piece Mares of Thrace (affectionately referred to as a “race and gender combo platter” due to their Southeast Asian and Indigenous heritage) deal in a brand of heaviness that draws as much from noise rock and hardcore as it does from the doom metal they’re commonly grouped with. Their three critically-acclaimed full-length releases have been punctuated with international tours, where their live show has gained a reputation for what Absolute Underground Magazine described as “[sounding] like there are at least five people onstage”.
Founded in 2009 by Trez (vocals, guitar) and Stef (drums), Mares released their debut The Moulting in 2010, where it topped national campus radio charts and was hailed by PopMatters as “superb”; they signed to Canada’s venerable Sonic Unyon Records shortly thereafter. 2012’s The Pilgrimage was produced by Sanford Parker (Voivod, Yob, Pelican) and praised by Pitchfork, Decibel, and Terrorizer, as well as receiving a nod from Canada’s prestigious Polaris Prize.
After several North American tours, a long, seemingly endless hiatus followed, as the duo struggled with careers, families, and geography; they re-emerged in 2022 with Trez remaining at the helm, and long-standing Mares friend and collaborator Casey on drums, bass, and electronics. 2022’s The Exile was deemed by many reviewers as their finest work to date; Decibel praised its “nuance, vulnerability, and maturity”, and AngryMetalGuy called it “the sound of a band in its prime, not one just slinking back in from the cold”. A triumphant live set at Sled Island Festival, and a tour with noise/doom heavyweights KEN mode and Vile Creature, followed.