by J Mundok
"Mara's Torment studies the darker side of the human psyche, creating a tapestry of feeling, using the threads of emotions we all share but rarely discuss..." (from the official Mara's Torment Web Site)
With beginnings in 1997, Mara's Torment began pouring onto tape from the brain of Rik McLean after failed attempts at the standard "group" lineups. Hailing from Ontario, Canada, the soundtrack in Rik's head first went to tape via two limited edition cassette releases called "Vanities" and "The Penny Collector" (neither of which are still available).
The first CD, "Dreams Like Mine", was released in early 1998 and found itself gaining very positive reviews from all over the world. Airplay in Canada, the States and Europe followed as did the live debut at Toronto's Velvet Underground during the summer of 1998.
The end of 1998 brings about the second CD release from MT, "Across For Show". Featuring the brilliant artwork of Katie Miranda, "Across For Show" is a dream for fans of dark ambient music (see the reviews section for a full description).
Though both CD releases feature images of females on the cover, neither happen to be Mara. "... I don't have any pictures of Mara, because well, if you must know we didn't break up on good terms." Regardless of the circumstances of the origins of Mara's Torment, we can be grateful as the result is a wonderful contribution to the continuing ambient scene in Toronto and beyond.
In my recent conversation with Rik, he didn't disclose the future of Mara's Torment but for some reason I see Rik on a spaceship (little round glasses and all) turning to the person at the helm firmly stating these words..."make it so!"
Official Web Site