Murmur – Murmur (Season of Mist)

Sunday, 2nd February 2014
Rating: 7.5/10

Experimental blackened sludge metallers Murmur surface from Chicago, Illinois, the inland of many of the United States’ greatest black-sludge metal bands such as Minsk, Corrections House, and Lord Mantis. Since Mainlining the Lugubrious, Murmur left their hometown scene and supporters in anticipation to hear more of their robust grizzly viscidities, not quite expecting something so progressively different yet equally menacing as their debut.

Underground crowds ought to murmur in admiration for Murmur’s self-titled and second full-length album, Murmur. With a surplus of bands endeavoring to make something unique in a semi-archetypal genre, it’s foreseeable how many black metal experiments crash straight down to hell, but not in the diabolically glorious context. Murmur, on the other end, ramble towards beastly brinks to pose the ardors of Murmur – a foray of experimental black metal fashioned in formulations of granularly death-stricken to dimly blackened moods and molten melodic croons. Frequent utilizations of synthesizers by both guitarists/vocalists Matthias Vogels and Shane Prendiville, with the cadences of bassist Alex Perkolup and percussionist Charlie Warber, mold mystifying atmospheres from psychedelic-electronic jazz to metallic mood-alternating sets of apocalyptic chaos.

Though heavy in roaring noises and fluxed tempos, Murmur progressively conjure passion, building up intensity in their dawdled sequences. Most pieces sound complete, well-composed, and musically all-inclusive, like “Water from Water” and its two-minute intro reminiscent to old-world jester-like charms that lead the rest of the piece into nightfall-black metal. Other tracks, however, appear to lack the same quality. Whether in need of additional guitar riffs, bass lines, or vocal verses to balance out repetitive measures, over-consistency can turn tedious and seems deprived of the band’s maximum potential.

Murmur. One word that practically means nothing, yet says all that needs to be said. Elevate into darkness with Murmur, taking patience with the engrossing rhythms, notice all other sounds and commotions about you grow obsolete, for this is a remedy for conscious awareness. The art illustrates the album’s deep artistic value, an abstract painting of a grass-enclosed temple crammed with bulls, a fine looking place to fall up to the stars while listening to the murky opacities of Murmur.

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