Erlen Meyer – Erlen Meyer (Shelsmusic)Sunday, 22nd June 2014
Anyone who digs sludge or blackened crust metal is bound to revel in France’s Erlen Meyer and their self-titled album, Erlen Meyer. The band’s name might be hard to remember but their tunes are unforgettably addictive so sink your ears and grind your teeth into this well-textured murky music for hours on end because it never gets old. Taking on good sludge is like crawling into a musical marsh, bonding to the grime and decomposing into the dirty sounds. We foul humans are nothing but earth’s filth so we might as well admit it and enjoy the ride. To submerge into sludge, begin by following the shady pathways of Erlen Meyer. By the end of this record you’re near guaranteed to end up somewhere else mentally, emotionally and/or physically.
Erlen Meyer sets a melancholy moodiness where anger constantly bubbles beneath the surface, and it’s just as well to sleep to it as it is to scream with it. In songs like “Nuit” and “Bouche Cousue,” Olivier Lacroix erupts with his abrasive screams, the harsh and cold-hearted tones of which provide the same emotional-relieving pleasure of screaming like an angry child into a pillow. In addition to all the grueling aggression is the atmospheric spectrum. For one, “Les Caprices de Remington” can be described by woe and illustrated by rain. More often than not, we’d consider rainfall cuts over-used, especially in overdone instrumental/experimental shorts, but here it’s mild enough to not obstruct the album’s collective musical quality, instead intensifies the entrancement with a gloominess that makes it easy to slip into Erlen Meyer’s obscure nightmares.
The raw human voice performing like an instrument is a powerful technique because it’s not completely about what’s said but what’s expressed. What Erlen Meyer’s lyrics say and how they sound make a massacre of emotive derangement from twisted poetry about epileptic archers, murder scenes, tragedies and other things that make cowards cringe when they ought to be craving another dose of these intoxicating spells.
Erlen Meyer don’t muddle around, they stick to what they’ve got and that’s wicked metal sludge, take it or leave it.