Mizmor – Prosaic (Profound Lore)

Monday, 17th July 2023
Rating: 8 / 10

A.L.N. is a man after my own heart. Mizmor, his astoundingly crushing one-man black metal project, has released what is perhaps the perfect soundtrack to losing one’s religion: 2019’s Cairn. The journey of one man from faith to reason, chronicled in 4 songs that tackled the realization of the absence of an omnipotent deity, reflected the same trajectory that I once experienced half a decade ago. And now, Mizmor seemingly, albeit unintentionally, wrote another work of art that parallels where my life is at right now: both the purpose and futility of work, and mindfulness, as well as living in the present moment and relishing every second of it.

Prosaic, the upcoming LP from the black metal stalwart, is an engaging affair of four tunes that never runs the gamut from attentive listening to meandering passages. From opener “Only an Expanse” that crashes right out of the gate with blistering blast beats as the song envelopes you in its (un)blessed black wings. Shifting gears momentarily for a slice of epic doom, the song quickly picks up the pace as the downtuned guitars throw you into the abyss like a discarded rag doll. The song ends on a dolorous note as the next track “No Place to Arrive” patiently plods on its doomy landscape until it arrives 6 minutes into a gently soothing folk interlude. Perhaps it echoes the rest that a battered and bruised worker experiences for a short moment as he is thrust back into endless Sisyphean tasks.

Third track “Anything But” is anything but a dud as it’s the record’s highlight with its old-school black metal riffs and oppressive atmosphere. Another acoustic outro to the song pulls the rug out from under you but that is one rug pull that the listener can’t really complain about as it perfectly ends a claustrophobic track. This song, and the entire record indeed, balances the impervious, dark atmosphere with the inviting tone that somehow doesn’t feel out of place, or forced. Closer “Acceptance” booms in authoritatively with A.L.N’s pained vocals and doom-drenched riffs. The first half of the song slightly wanders aimlessly with a viscous tempo and only really starts to pique interest once the black metal sprint comes into play. The track ends on a remarkable note of doom-laden leads that would definitely be more enjoyable to listen to have I had a lyric sheet in hand with the promo.

All in all, Prosaic is Mizmor refined, a record that goes to show that not everything needs to be overly thought-out, because gold can still come from the mundane moments in life. You just have to live it.

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