Murmuüre - Murmuüre
Paradigms Recordings
Ambient/Black Metal
6 songs (29:09)
Release year: 2010
Official website, Paradigms Recordings
Reviewed by Charles
This is a strange album, apparently recorded in strange circumstances. This entire record is based on an hour’s guitar improvisation, deconstructed and rearranged, with electronics and vocals added later. This ‘outsider metal’ has generated some hubbub, with Aquarius Records calling it the ‘black metal album of the year’ (they’re selling it stateside, so I’m not sure how seriously to take the accolade) and Paradigms Recordings releasing 500 CDs to follow up the 100 cassettes originally on Cold Void Emanations. It’s certainly a piece of intriguing esoterica, and perhaps the kind of thing that the artist will reveal in a few years to have been a bit of a send up all along.

Still, whatever is going on here, this is worth listening to. It is, in fact, a delectably warped black-ambient fusion, which seems to me to evoke not so much black metal itself, but the sort of thing extra-terrestrial visitors might produce if they were trying to illustrate the sound of bands like Peste Noire, Pensees Nocturnes or even Moëvöt to their families on their return home. Yes, it is French, by the way.

First track Primo Vere opens with a wash of evocative synth noise which seems to be channelling the feel of a medieval war film, but into this murk is pulled poisonous lashings of faded-out electric guitar fuzz. It morphs into a lurching haze of arhythmic black metal non-riffs drowned in electronic noise. It often reminds me strongly of some of Davide Tiso’s solo work (think his interludes on the second Better Undead Than Alive compilation), but unlike Tiso’s work it is more sickening than quirky. There is savagery in these riffs and in the barely-audible vocals, but they seem so sickly and malnourished beneath the oppressive ambiance that it is barely recognisable as black metal. Let’s say that its cackling and unkempt mood reminds me, in spirit, of Peste Noire.

Elsewhere, Amethyst is a quite graceful swoop of sci-fi electronic ambiance, which again allows a rumbling black metal sensibility to bubble beneath the surface in its latter half, though never disrupting the curiously warm character of the thing. My favourite is L’Adieu Au Soleil which starts as a formless mass of crackling noise but becomes a fuzzy and indistinct industrial metal stagger. The overall impression is an enigma; wallpaper music for the world’s most uncomfortable dinner-party. Murmuüre is one of 2010’s most curious black metal releases; a disconcerting sculpture of weird noise and alien atmosphere.

Killing Songs :
Primo Vere, L'Adieu Au Soleil
Charles quoted 84 / 100
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