These guys last released an album way back in 2001 – and we all know that a lot has happened since then. But with Songs of The Third and Fifth, The Mark of Cain proves that the more things change, the more they stay the same. Once again brothers John and Kim Scott are joined by drummer extraordinaire John Stanier (Battles, Tomahawk, Helmet) whose precise & intense style complements the Scott brothers perfectly.
Opening with the ballistic riffage of first single, the thundering Barkhammer, The Mark of Cain announce their return with a full-bloodied fist to the face. This is savagely beautiful stuff that has been missing too long from the local music landscape. An album highlight, Milosovic is an outstanding example of math rock in its purest form – a simply jaw dropping track. And Eastern Decline is similarly stunning, it’s barely contained rage almost therapeutic in delivery.
Like all their previous albums, The Mark of Cain have not reigned in their anger, but controlled and distorted it into a lean and mean brute of an album. Look no further than the moody twisted blast of 1000 Yards – just amazing. Second single Heart of Stone closes out the album in bombastic style, and may well become a live staple.
This is more than what we would normally expect from The Mark of Cain: it’s tight as fuck, with a jackhammer delivery and uncompromising honesty. This is something that’s been several years in production, but you’d swear they laid it down in a few berserker days in the studio. It’s an astounding achievement not only for The Mark of Cain, but for Aussie rock ‘n’ roll. The Mark of Cain are well and truly back with an album that will be recognised as one of their best. In fact the only downside to this album is that we had to wait 10 years for it.