London newcomers Blessings of Mara have honed an interesting sound that blends full-on metalcore with more melodic moments and meaningful vocals.
The Blessings of Mara story began in 2017 when vocalist Connor Baillie met guitarist Robby G online and began discussing starting a band. Various lineup changes have occurred since, but Connor met drummer Ryan Jacobs at a gig, who then introduced guitarist Luke Parker and bassist Alan Rutley. They’ve since set out to create music that’s hard-hitting yet relatable, and which they describe as “meaningful, energetic and heavy.”
As Connor explains: “We’re just a group of guys that want to create meaningful music, that you may or may not be able to relate to, but will definitely be able to feel.
“The Blessings of Mara sound is really a massive mix as we all take influences from a bunch of different genres. I’d really narrow it down to classic metalcore, but with a lot more of a modern feel to it.”
Our first taste of this is the band’s debut single Cardiac, which was released in May. It opens up with light guitars then continue over chugging chords and light drums. The guitars intensify into a lively riff as huge screams take over then drop into high-pitched vocals “Pull me out of the wreckage, You had crashed and burned, Gushing from the wounds you made, You bled your heart out, What more did I have to do? There wasn’t anything left for me to save.”
That immediately kicks into huge screams over heavy guitars then big doomy guitars and high-pitched guitar notes, which drop into a section of driving chords and another clean chorus. The drums pick up pace as lively guitars and intense screamed vocals bring the track to a lively ending.
On the track, Connor told us: “The reception to Cardiac has been amazing, honestly. We’ve even had a bunch of people messaging us to say that they love the song and that really means the world to us. We set out on this journey to make music that we love but also bring to light some difficult subject matters through the lyrics, so it’s great to see people streaming our song or watching the lyric video and really connecting with it.
“As for what to expect from Cardiac if you haven’t heard it already. I’d say prepare yourself for a few breakdowns, some melodic, yet heavy riffs and the perfect mixture of clean and screamed vocals.”
The Blessings of Mara sound draws influences from a wide range of bands. Alan and Ryan are big into hardcore bands like Every Time I Die, Counterparts and Palm Reader, while Robby is a fan of metalcore and deathcore bands like Motionless in White, Within Destruction and Cradle of Filth. Luke is into metalcore like Beartooth, as well as far less heavy influences like Elton John and Bo Burnham. While Connor is largely influenced by metalcore bands like Polaris, Wage War and Bring Me The Horizon, as well as “less metal” artists like Breathe Carolina and our former New Band of the Week Hot Milk.
And on what inspires them to write music, Connor explains: “We really just like to write music that we ourselves would listen to, that’s the most important thing. Personally, when writing the lyrics, I like to use that as a cathartic experience, I always have done. I write about experiences I’ve had and feelings I’ve felt, even if they’re particularly difficult topics, so that we can raise awareness of it.
“For example, Cardiac is a song about trying to help someone that doesn’t want to be helped. It’s very much in the vein (no pun intended) of self-harm, but I wrote it with the feeling in mind, the helplessness and the disappointment that comes with that. Even if someone hasn’t been through that exact scenario before, hopefully they can feel the emotion behind it.”
There’s plenty more to come from Blessings of Mara as the band are constantly writing new music. That’ll begin with the upcoming release of their second single Thalassophobia, with more music to follow.
And as Connor adds: “This is a journey. We have some experiences to share and we’re gonna do that through our music, so we hope you join us for the ride!”