Mesmur - S (CD)

funeral doom metal, Solitude Productions, Solitude Productions
533.33 Р
Price in points: 800 points
SP. 127-17 x
In stock
The followup to Mesmur"s crushing eponymous debut, "S" is an apocalyptic funeral doom exploration of the madness of the cosmos. Combining plodding and malicious riffs with icy abyssal atmospheres, "S" creates a disturbing yet often beautiful representation of the chaotic void that is our universe.An echoing thud in the chamber of human suffering, Mesmur aims to capture the sounds of a world that was doomed from the beginning. Led by the mastermind that brought to life the progressive black metal band Dalla Nebbia, Mesmur is funeral doom with a little bit extra. Blending influences ranging from the funerary dirges of Evoken to the mesmerizing atmosphere of Neurosis, Mesmur shows versatility in a genre where simplicity usually reigns.

1 Singularity 15:06
2 Exile 14:35
3 Distension 16:24
4 S = k ln Ω 6:48

Artist Country:
Album Year:
funeral doom metal
CD Album
Jewel Case
Solitude Productions
Cat Num:
SP. 127-17
Release Year:
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Contaminated Tones

Mesmur’s S is hands down one the best funeral doom albums I’ve heard, and by that I don’t mean it’s merely some kind of subgenre revival. S stands on equal footing with the greats of funeral doom, and like any particularly high quality album, it should capture the interest of fans of other metal genres. Funeral doom as a niche genre is possibly one of the shakiest premises to have spawned from the recesses of heavy metal. What if the very pacing of the songs and their structures were, in of themselves, a source of heaviness? Well, more often than not you end up with something that feels more slow and boring than crushing. It’s a wildly challenging balance to strike, but on S Mesmur calibrates the overall atmosphere just perfectly with a detailed landscape of tones.

It’s almost ridiculous to mention given the nature of the album, but even in a genre where everything is supposed to be heavy and a subgenre that is supposed to be crushing, this album is notably oppressive. The heaviness though is more than just thick guitars and bass backed up by what I am sure is an impressive array of gear. What really makes S stand out is how clear everything is, or in other words the impeccable mixing helps to highlight every last bit of the album’s overall sound. The vocals especially are uncannily even and strong. So instead of just being crushed by a falling wall of heaviness you also happen to notice the beautiful bricks and artisan-tier mortar work just before you get pancaked.

Aside from the obvious musical comparisons (Esoteric, Ahab, Mournful Congregation et al.) some of the more relaxed spacier moments remind me of Earth, like when the lush lead guitars take the forefront or start to softly echo around. It’s a nice example of how S keeps things interesting because the high end is incredibly rich without coming across as overly sugary. Many moments in the songs even have a delicate feel to them, some airy riff with effects whirling about in the background like leaves in gentle breeze. These moments however never interfere with the overall song structures, and even help to enhance them, which is critical when you have songs that are over fourteen, fifteen, and even sixteen minutes long.

The only flaw I really picked up on that I can’t chalk up to not being obsessed with funeral doom was how some of the effects are super obvious in the first song “Singularity.” I don’t know if it’s the distortion, fuzz, flanger, or phaser but during parts of the first half of the song I could have sworn there was some loose change or maybe a rattlesnake on top of my speakers. While a little distracting, particularly for such a crystal clear produced album, it isn’t a huge issue for the song or overall music. Otherwise I have no grips with S. It’s worth noting that while the band’s 2014 self-titled debut was pretty damn good, S is definitely a step up. Even after revisiting some of my favorite funeral doom albums (many of which are releases that are widely viewed as lodestars for the genre) I can safely say that S puts Mesmur up there with the greats.

Author: Apteronotus
Metal Wani

Of all genres of music, metal may well have the most sub genres; even sub genres of sub genres, for that matter. At times it can seem a bit absurd. A point of pride for much of metal is its inaccessibility, often delighting in forcing a listener to go through an album or genre repeatedly in order to “get it.” And of all these genres one of the least accessible is funeral doom, perfect for when regular doom just isn’t sad or depressing enough. With its lengthy songs, glacial speed, and overall mood, it’s a sub genre that even many metal fans are turned off by. However it’s also a highly atmospheric and often quite beautiful and immersive genre as well. Into this field of sorrow comes Mesmur and their upcoming album ‘S’ and it’s an album that funeral doom fans really should hear.

Drawing inspiration from Evoken to Ahab and even Neurosis, they have created a highly atmospheric and often inspired piece of funeral doom. The members hail from two different states and three countries; none of Mesmur’s members have met one another but still have formed a very unified sound. Led by guitarist/keyboardist/lyricist/primary composer Jeremy L, and grounded by the deep growls of Chris G, they eschew the usual topics of the genre: Death, sorrow, despair etc.; and instead focus on the vast emptiness of space and the abyss. This cosmic approach has a very H.P. Lovecraft mood about it, though direct mentions are absent.

The first track is “Singularity” and starts with slow, heavy riffing and the steady, solid drumming of John D. The growls come in after about a minute and, while deep, have a distant almost hollow sound to them, like they were coming from inside a cave or the depths of a black hole. Just after the 2:30 mark, the guitar playing picks up speed and the lead floats on top of the riffing. It’s a fairly simple melody, but the effect is striking and works remarkably well moving the song forward. As most funeral doom songs, the track is long, clocking just over 15 minutes, but the keyboard use keeps it from ever seeming as slow moving as it could, and it is never overused, simply sprinkled throughout to add to the mood. The track ends in a slow atmospheric manner, the last minute or so descending into dark ambient territory, including what sounds almost like a field recording of insects. I appreciate the effect and slow dwindling of sounds; ambient music does not work for everybody, but I have a hard time imagining the song without it.

This is followed by “Exile” which begins in a very different fashion. The first sounds are a slow drum and organ-like key work, before adding some clean picking of the guitar. It is very melodic and sounds in some ways like an outro rather than an intro to a song, which is a quite effective way to go against the listener’s expectations. The vocals don’t kick in until several minutes into the song. But continuing to go against the grain, the vocal addition does not mean an increase in heaviness or volume. Instead the motif repeats, with the vocals being more an addition to the music, rather than the focus. It’s not until you’re 10 minutes into the track before things start to really change, and the tempo picks up. Granted it is still slow by most other standards, but fast tempo and funeral doom do not always go together. The increase of speed and heaviness, however, adds a sense of urgency to the music and makes the journey through empty space described in the lyrics all the more harrowing.

The third and longest track (at over 16 minutes) is “Distention” and the transition from “Exile” to it is smooth enough that I wasn’t sure where one stopped and the other began the first couple times I listened through the album. After half a minute of ambient sounds a lone guitar is heard playing single, warbled notes before the eventual addition of minimal drumming. The effect is rather eerie and unsettling as it is not rushed, but repeated, slowly building a tension before the heavier sounds envelope it. The bass of Michele M is a bit more apparent on this track. As is often the case with this genre, the bass blends in a great deal, but the more open nature of the music allows it to be heard more clearly. Despite its running time, the track moves organically in the now well established style that Mesmur has developed over the preceding 40 minutes. As for much of the album, the atmosphere and tone seems more important that crushing heaviness, which is something I prefer. Plenty of bands go for extreme heaviness, and the album is certainly very heavy, but the atmosphere created adds to the emotional effect of the songs and that added time and dimension elevates the album higher than most.

The final track is the instrumental “S = k ln Ω.” I haven’t the foggiest notion what the title means, but that detracts nothing from it. It begins with more of the dark ambient key work and distorted sounds that add so much to the overall mood, and feel of the album, and its general theme of a cold, indifferent, chaotic universe which surrounds us. The shortest song at under 7 minutes, it is mostly all ambient music with drums, and some distorted guitar added flavor to the sound rather than dominating it. Your enjoyment or opinion of the necessity of the track will undoubtedly have to do with how much you enjoy such things. As I’ve said, I think it’s an important element to what the band is doing and the theme and approach of the album.

With ‘S’, Mesmur have crafted a dark, often beautiful vision of a dying star in a less than traditional funeral doom style. The album is as slow and heavy as a glacier, but also often melodic, and the atmosphere creates a palatable feeling of cosmic isolation. It has been said that if you look long into the abyss the abyss will look back. ‘S’ is the sound of the abyss looking back. Highly recommended.

Author: Jonathon Rose

Mesmur is about to release this amazing new album with four songs of atmospheric doom. You want something that is heavy and that will weigh on you with tons of riffs, well here it is. Mesmur just created a journey into darkness. This is one great album, i enjoyed all four songs, the universe crafted on S isdeep and intense.

The four guys of Wilmington, North Carolina, are back after the great S/T that appeared in 2014, they took the time to bring us an amazing second album. I was impressed by the universe and the complexity of the songs. The weight and the slow speed of the funeral doom they created made me reflect on how small and insignificant we are in this immensity. The lyrics reflect on the complex compositions of the universe. The guitar notes with an echo effect blends into heavy chords of distortions and then tremolos add an extra layer to the music. the keyboard adds to the rich world of S. The bass and the drums hammer the chords and brings all the weight.

S is an amazing album, I was lucky to get a chance to hear it. The lyrics about the chemistry of the universe are unique and reminds us that we don’t count for a lot. This is a great Doom music with an atmospheric vibe. strong second album for Mesmur.

Mesmur is een Funeral Doom band die is samengesteld uit bandleden komende uit Australië tot Amerika. Uit zowat de hele wereld dus. Wat Mesmur een internationaal project maakt. Over hun titelloos debuut, medio 2015, schreven wij: Elk van de songs op Mesmur is van een heel hoog niveau en doet de luisteraar wegzinken in een depressieve, donkere roes, waaruit je niet wakker wil worden. Circa 52 minuten worden we onder gedompeld en meegezogen tot de diepste dallen van onze ziel. Zonder meer is dit een debuut dat niet alleen je hart diep raakt. Ook is het van technisch heel hoogstaande kwaliteit, en een must have plaat voor de liefhebbers van funeral doom tot pure doom metal. Op 15 september komt eindelijk een gloednieuwe schijf op de markt. S. Of er iets veranderd is aan het gedoodverfde concept? Niet zoveel, maar daar zijn we totaal niet treurig om.

Elk van de songs heeft een duurtijd van circa 15 minuten. Om de aandacht dan scherp te houden, dan moet je wel heel sterk in je schoenen staan. Mesmur slaagt er echter in je telkens opnieuw onder te dompelen in een diep bad, van walmen van intensieve duisternis. Een song als Singularity is een vijftien minuten lange trip, doorheen de donkerste gedachten van je ziel. Mesmur hypnotiseert de luisteraar als het ware, door klanken naar voor te brengen die je gegarandeerd koude rillingen bezorgen tot de bot. Binnen die eerste song zitten zoveel tempowisselingen, en een subtiele vocale inbreng als kers op de taart, waardoor je gewoon gewillig u laat meevoeren over die duistere paden. Exile is wederom zo een intensieve song, die aanvoelt alsof je strot wordt dichtgeknepen. De haren op onze armen komen prompt recht te staan. Ook bij de daarop volgende meesterwerken Distension, S = k ln Ω blijft dat intensieve gevoel vanbinnen, stevig overeind staan.

S durven we zonder meer omschrijven als grensverleggende Funeral Doom, van de meest pure soort. Mesmur zorgt er met langgerekte, vaak instrumentale, songs de aandacht van begin tot einde scherp te houden. Door ons een trip aan te bieden die ons een krop in de keel bezorgt en de haren op onze armen doen recht komen, telkens opnieuw. Waarna de verschroeiende, subtiele vocalen, je uiteindelijk die ultieme doodsteek geven. Met het angstzweet op de lippen, rillende van innerlijk genot, doen we die trip nog eens over. Tot we totaal verweest en buiten adem onze demonen strak in de ogen durven kijken.

We kunnen dan ook besluiten:

Over het debuut schreven we ook: Als er muziek zou moeten gedraaid worden op onze begrafenis, mag dat gerust muziek van Mesmur zijn. En dat is een compliment. Een stelling die we trouwens ook kunnen doortrekken naar de nieuwste schijf S. Mesmur brengt een aangrijpende, grensverleggende Funeral doom plaat naar voor, die recht doorheen je hart boort. Zonder meer is S één ontontgonnen parel binnen dat genre, van uiterst uitzonderlijk hoog niveau. Om te koesteren. We halen er even de bewoordingen bij, die we te lezen krijgen op de bandcamp pagina van de nieuwe schijf: ” The followup to Mesmur’s crushing eponymous debut, “S” is an apocalyptic funeral doom exploration of the madness of the cosmos. Combining plodding and malicious riffs with icy abyssal atmospheres, “S” creates a disturbing yet often beautiful representation of the chaotic void that is our universe.” – Daar hebben we niets aan toe te voegen. Gewoon kopen die handel. En genieten van de walmen van pure intensieve duisternis, is ons advies.

Author: Erik Vandamme
Glacially Musical

Over the years, it’s probably obvious that I’ve spent too much time watching foreign films….most of them being from Japan, Spain, and Mexico.

Kurosawa, Almoldovar, and Miyazaki have all made films that simply have to be seen to be believed.

After watching those, it becomes apparent that the world is a very large place and there’s a place for everyone within its expanses.

Though music is the universal language, sometimes it needs to be translated. Because of that need for translation, sometimes it can be hard to really know what music is.

There are Japanese songs on the shamisen that sound amelodic to my western ear. It’s that translation that we all sometimes require to hear the inherent beauty. It can be hard.

Not Mesmur, most likely.
In all the time spent trying to figure out what music is or isn’t, it’s easy to miss the message of what they’re trying to convey.

Just because we don’t know how something came to be, where it came from, or why it is… well that’s just not every thing.

Mesmur lists themselves as funeral doom metal. From my point of view that’s a very narrow category from which they burst effortlessly.

This album feels like an adventure down the Mississippi with Huck Finn and his skiff, though far more metal, and a bit crazier.

This four track album takes the listener on a journey of the mind.

The amelodic synths, the sparse and crushing vocals, and the mood… It all adds up to a prog lover’s paradise. If Pink Flood was totally metal back in the early 70’s, Ummagumma would have sounded a lot more like S.

This is an album that’s full of nooks and crannies. It will take years to traverse them all. Open a Double IPA, and take it all in.

In these reviews, my goal is bring the reader on the journey I took with the albums I review, but S, is very difficult to articulate what I heard, what I felt, and where I went.

You’ll have to listen and take your own journey this time. Just know that this album has my full recommendation.

Author: Nik Cameron
Meat and Metal

Ever since I was a kid, I’ve had a deep fascination with outer space. I talk about it a lot in the pieces I write on this site, often because I strive to find music that makes me think of that giant black blob of infinity in which we all live. It enthralls and frightens me, and I usually find myself gazing into the stars at night when I’m taking my dog out to do her universal business.

The second I looked at the cover of “S,” the new opus from funeral doom maulers Mesmur, I thought about the mysterious vastness that surrounds everything. Digging into the music, that very thing plays out a million-fold, as the band’s slow-driving music feels like it’s dressed in stardust. The record also is a pretty significant shift from their 2014 self-titled debut, one that ups the imagination and torment and keeps pulling you back into their cosmic adventure. The band—vocalist Chris G, guitarist/synth player Jeremy L, bassist Michele M, and drummer John D—has members spread across the globe, which is pretty amazing when taking on their music, considering how tight and natural it sounds. Funeral doom has a special place in our hearts, so we tend to be a little protective, and that’s a major reason why Mesmur’s two albums have had such significant impacts. This collection is one that, hopefully, turns more heads, because Mesmur is a really fantastic band, and it’s time more people take notice.

The record opens with 15:06-long “Singularity,” a track that infuses the darkness with air, as creaky growls lurch, and the band hits its trademark ultra-slow-driving tempo. Spacey keys glaze while a cavernous assault opens, and keys plink like giant raindrops. Doom drapes are pulled over everything, while the guitars trudge and later turn cold. The track enters a dream state while spacey noises well up, and the sounds soar toward the sun. “Exile” runs 14:36 and has a chilling, somber beginning. The band eases into a long psychedelic jam, but then the growls rumble, and then we’re into a slow-gripping, emotional stretch. You can feel it in your gut as the voices echo into space, and the song bathes in gothy waters. Cosmic synth spreads, as the track opens in full and crushes. The growls gurgle, steely melodies lap onto the shore, and the music adds color to the blackness.

“Distension” is the longest cut, a 16:24 pounder that’s bled into from the previous cut and that lets guitars drip like an early autumnal rain. The melodies sprawl while noises pierce, and then a rugged riff begins to chew, the growls churn, and the melodies sprawl. Talky growls spread their arms while the band unleashes its power and drives as slowly, but heavily, as can be. Emotion pours from the band. The guitars cry out in the night, the blackness floods everything, and the song comes to a stormy end. “S = k ln Ω” is the record-ending instrumental, one that should flood your mind with all kinds of bizarre visions. A synth cloud rises while static picks at your wounds. The song feels like floating into space and beyond, as mystical dreams flood your mind, a well of keys drums up a strange aura, and the record ends on a zapping, charging note.

Mesmur’s transition into the stars is a strong one, and “S” is a record that should amplify their status, if there’s any justice in this world. The music slowly grinds your soul into the dirt and makes you appreciate the incredible space that envelops everything. It’s a big statement and a major subject matter, and after absorbing these songs, you might shift the way you think of funeral doom and the cosmos.

Author: Brian Krasman

Ci perdonerà, il buon Tito Livio, se ci permettiamo di scomodarlo per apportare a nostra volta una lieve ma sostanziale modifica a una delle sue più celebri formule, ma mai come in questo caso la lapidarietà di un aforisma che sconfini quasi nell’invocazione di una qualche assistenza divina si addice all’impresa di affrontare la stesura di un testo in cui, almeno in teoria, il tasso di coinvolgimento personale rischia di minare l’oggettività della valutazione. La schiena del recensore, infatti, non può non essere percorsa da più di qualche brivido, di fronte alla prospettiva di affrontare il lavoro di una band di cui un componente sia molto più di un semplice nome in calce al promo kit ed emerga in carne ed ossa ad assumere la consistenza di un rapporto di amicizia, prima ancora che di condivisione di interessi. Una benevola predisposizione all’indulgenza o un’eccessiva severità a prescindere diventano così i due estremi in mezzo a cui l’obiettività di chi scrive deve trovare una rotta equilibrata, cercando contemporaneamente di evitare anche la comoda scappatoia aristotelica del giusto mezzo da brandire ruffianamente come avallo filosofico per coprire una sostanziale ignavia di fondo. D’altra parte, non possiamo esimerci dall’esibire ben più che una semplice punta d’orgoglio e (viva e vibrante) soddisfazione per il fatto che uno degli alfieri ormai stagionati di Metallized si sia messo in discussione accantonando per una volta penna, carta & calamaio per cimentarsi direttamente con le sette note, entrando a far parte di un progetto oltretutto di respiro internazionale.

E allora eccolo, il nostro Michele “5-HT” Mura, alle prese con le quattro corde di una band di cui si era peraltro occupato direttamente in occasione del debutto, quel Mesmur che ormai tre anni fa aveva arricchito la mai troppo popolata nicchia funeral di un lavoro apparso fin da subito in grado di reggere la sfida di un genere tutt’altro che “maneggevole”, a dispetto dell’apparente semplicità dei canoni che lo contraddistinguono. Per la verità, in quell’occasione i Mesmur si erano collocati in una dimensione non del tutto ortodossa (o, se vogliamo, non oltranzista) rispetto ai numi tutelari universalmente riconosciuti (Skepticism e Mournful Congregation su tutti), increspando la narrazione con fremiti death che hanno indubbiamente giovato alla potabilità del platter anche oltre la ristretta cerchia degli iniziati, seguendo uno schema che gli Esoteric hanno eretto a chiave di volta della loro qualitativamente impeccabile carriera. Il vero punto di forza dell’album, però, si era materializzato con un sorprendente retrogusto ambient che, quando messo in condizione di prendersi il centro della scena, come nella splendida Osmosis, iniettava dosi di algida visionarietà nell’impianto, dilatando i tempi e aprendo improvvisi squarci di luce nella cappa plumbea posata sulla trama del viaggio.

Da un simile mix potenzialmente multidirezionale ripartono ora i Mesmur con questo S, rivelando fin dalla scelta del titolo le intenzioni del quartetto, nel frattempo approdato alla Solitude Productions, label russa che può vantare come stella del roster nientemeno che sua maestà Johan Ericson in solitaria modalità Doom:VS. La sigla “S”, infatti, nel linguaggio scientifico internazionale, rimanda alla definizione di entropia, qui chiamata in causa per i suoi effetti drammatici e inevitabili sulla storia dell’universo in virtù della sua forza inesorabilmente disgregatrice, che porterà alla morte termica dell’intero sistema. A semplificare benissimo il concetto provvede intanto una magnifica cover, che unisce già visivamente l’incanto di un panorama cosmico all’incubo di un destino segnato, ma, ancora di più, la manciata di parole che accompagnano il trailer di lancio dell’album:

In the cold vacuum of deep space
The sprawling remains of a dying universe
There is no light
No hope
There is only chaos
Only doom…

La scelta astronomica, peraltro, funziona benissimo anche come metafora in grado di assurgere a paradigma per l’intero genere; in più di un’occasione, su queste pagine, abbiamo fatto riferimento al funeral doom come ultima frontiera di quella sorta di big bang primigenio sprigionatosi agli albori dell’epopea metal, quando agli occhi di tutti la caratteristica principale era la quantità di energia sprigionata, di cui però, mano a mano che ci si allontani dal “centro”, rimane un’eco sempre più affievolita fino alla definitiva cristallizzazione. Così, dove i ritmi rallentano e gli atomi si distanziano, è un’incorporeità fatta di vapori a impadronirsi della scena, sfuocando le immagini e catapultando l’ascoltatore in una dimensione eterea che in questa prova i Mesmur tratteggiano magistralmente, a metà strada tra angoscia ed estasi. Rispetto al debut, peraltro, non mancano gli elementi di novità, segno di un indiscutibile processo di crescita che coincide con una migliore messa a fuoco e amalgama dei tanti (troppi, in quel caso?) elementi che avevano caratterizzato la prima prova, consentendo contemporaneamente ai Nostri di allargare ulteriormente il raggio d’azione.
Che si tratti di lavorare di cesello sulle atmosfere (e in questo caso spira forte il vento Shape of Despair, con quel gusto per la raffinatezza giocata in chiave “minimale” e in sottrazione che è di casa a Helsinki) o di gestire momenti più cadenzati (e qui si rafforzano i richiami agli Skepticism, pur sempre mediati dalla lezione Esoteric), il quartetto può contare oltretutto su prove individuali qualitativamente di tutto rispetto, a cominciare dal colossale lavoro di Jeremy L alle prese con sei corde e tastiere che alimentano uno spettro emozionale sconfinato, per arrivare al cantato di Chris G, impeccabile nel maneggiare i sacri crismi del genere con relativo sfoggio di un ottimo growl capace di calibrare alla perfezione profondità e sabbiosità. Detto di un John D che, come nel debut, percuote le pelli con un gusto che diversi passaggi si spinge verso interessanti aperture black (l’ombra atmosferica dei Gris si allunga con più che discreta circospezione), restano le note di merito anche per il “nostro” Michele alle quattro corde, metronomo puntualissimo nel dettare i ritmi del flusso narrativo sia nelle fasi di claustrofobica edificazione di monoliti, sia quando affronta le canoniche rarefazioni funeral in modalità rintocco.

Tre episodi che si aggirano chilometricamente intorno al quarto d’ora di durata e una chiusura strumentale appena più contenuta, l’album si apre subito con la perla dell’intero lotto, ideale secondo capitolo e degna erede di quella Osmosis che, come detto, aveva fatto calare tra gli applausi il sipario sul predecessore. Un titolo e un testo che rimandano ai misteri più affascinanti dell’universo, là, in quell’orizzonte degli eventi dove la luce perde la sua battaglia con la forza di gravità prima di finire inghiottita dal nulla eterno di un buco nero, Singularity è ad un tempo lucida visione e allucinazione, sogno e incubo, materia e spirito, il tutto tradotto straordinariamente in una sorta di suite che si apre quasi screziata da fanghi sludge, guadagna progressivamente in imponenza e solennità su cui vanno a incastonarsi piccoli gioielli melodici e si conclude su un altopiano dai riflessi quasi malinconici che non possono lasciare indifferenti addirittura orecchie educate alla scuola post di Neurosis e (ancor più) Isis.
Non si scende dall’alta quota, non solo metaforica, con la successiva Exile, vertice “shapeofdespairiano” del platter (sembra quasi di sentirla, Natalie Koskinen che gorgheggia diafanamente in sottofondo) in cui i Mesmur dimostrano tutti i progressi compiuti in questi tre anni soprattutto nella capacità di incorporare le propensioni ambient in un impianto comunque maestoso senza minarne la tenuta, prima di un finale percorso per contrappasso da consistenti fremiti death/black. Tocca a Distension riportare la rotta tra le braccia di una più marcata ortodossia funeral e i Nostri disegnano un affresco popolato di figure ritratte in quella fissità spettrale a cui le dure leggi della scienza non offrono alternative e di fronte a cui, forse, più che la disperazione è la desolazione a diventare la cifra definitiva del nostro destino. Chiude il viaggio l’enigmatica S=k ln Ω (formula dell’entropia in termodinamica applicando la costante di Boltzmann), che, dopo un interessante avvio in territorio drone (è forse questo, l’equivalente in musica della radiazione cosmica di fondo, ultimo segnale di vita destinato a spegnersi un attimo prima della morte termica?), tramonta un po’ anonimamente, lasciando qualche rammarico per la mancanza di un ultimo fuoco d’artificio o un colpo di scena finale che pure sembrava potersi sprigionare, dal lento e quasi voluttuoso avvolgersi delle spire.

Determinismo scientifico che incontra la poesia del Cocito dantesco, mondo di sinuosi chiaroscuri che avvolgono ingannevolmente prima di aprire le porte al Grande Freddo, tavola pantagruelicamente imbandita per i palati funeral più esigenti ma potenziale ponte in grado di attirare anche viandanti in occasionale deviazione da tracciati doom, death o black, S è un album che va dritto al centro del bersaglio delle emozioni. Abbattuto il diaframma dell’apprendistato, i Mesmur bussano forte alla porta dell’empireo del genere… con tutte le credenziali in regola, per essere ammessi.

Author: Gabriele Zolfo “Red Rainbow”

Funeral doom is een (nog) trager en somberder variant van doom metal. Waar precies de grens ligt tussen hoofd- en subgenre, is de vraag. Qua tempo en mistroostigheid kan Mesmur in ieder geval onder de noemer funeral doom worden geschaard en binnen dat subgenre is de band beslist een van de allerbeste bands. Die conclusie kon al getrokken worden aan de hand van het titelloze debuut uit 2014, maar met het tweede album S meldt Mesmur zich definitief aan de funeral doom-top.

Het kwartet wordt geleid door gitarist/keyboardist/componist Jeremy L. Hij is ook de drijvende kracht achter de progressieve black metalband Dalla Nebbia. De overige bandleden verblijven niet in L’s buurt en S is dan ook tot stand gekomen zonder dat de muzikanten zich ooit tegelijkertijd in een en dezelfde ruimte hebben bevonden. Je hoort het niet aan de plaat af. De partijen van vocalist Chris G, bassist Michele M en drummer John D sluiten nauw op elkaar aan, maar een grotere prestatie is dat de emotionele impact van de muziek bewaard is gebleven. Het risico van het op deze wijze ter wereld brengen van een klinisch product is dus knap omzeild.

Het onderwerp van het album is de ‘madness of the cosmos’, die gigantische en chaotische leegte die ons voorstellingsvermogen te boven gaat. Desondanks klinkt de muziek van Mesmur erg aards. Het doet denken aan onherbergzame, kille en duistere berglandschappen met oneindige afgronden, waar de mens een nietig wezen is, gedoemd om zijn dagen in eenzame duisternis te slijten. Voor het creëren van die sfeer draait deze band zijn hand niet om. Vanaf de eerste tonen wordt de luisteraar meegevoerd in de zware, onheilszwangere atmosfeer van S.

Zoals het in het (sub)genre betaamt, is de funeral doom van Mesmur niet songgericht; de algehele sfeer is belangrijker dan de in veel genres gebruikelijke kop en staart. Uiteraard beweegt de muziek zich ook traag voort, maar dit viertal waakt ervoor de muziek tot een statisch geheel te maken. Er is een gang voorwaarts. Met een slepende en vaak tergend langzame tred weliswaar, maar toch: er is een gang voorwaarts, al zijn er ook atmosferische passages te beluisteren.

De atmosferische klanken worden door Mesmur behoedzaam en doelbewust ingezet, zodat die passages niet louter bindmiddelen zijn maar betekenis hebben binnen het geheel, binnen het verhaal dat zich in dat trage tempo ontvouwt. De band houdt zijn muziek sowieso simpel, wat de algehele sfeer ook ten goede komt. De synths vervullen een sobere rol binnen het geheel; het zijn de gitaren die het melodische werk doen en de toetsen dienen slechts ter ondersteuning, ter accentuering van de kille en ontredderde stemming.

S telt vier stukken, waarvan de eerste drie rond een kwartier klokken en de vierde track iets minder dan zeven minuten duurt. In de drie lange werken horen we de grunt van Chris G, die duidelijk aanwezig is maar niet bovenop de muziek is gelegd. De vocalen krijgen zo een functie als een van de instrumenten. Sterkste wapenfeiten van de band zijn echter de uiterst sombere melodielijnen en mineurakkoorden van de gitaar, die geladen zijn met zwaarte en droefheid en daardoor op het gemoed werken.

S is verschenen op het Russische doom metal-label Solitude Productions. Als je label ‘solitude’ heet, kun je maar beter zorgen dat eenzaamheid en desolaatheid van iedere gespeelde noot afstralen. Dat is exact wat de in Amerika zetelende band bewerkstelligt op dit album. Mesmur weet met simpele middelen en basisingrediënten een imposante sound te creëren. In een subgenre waarin saaiheid regelmatig op de loer ligt, is dit een stralend lichtpunt, al roept dat natuurlijk associaties op met zaken waar deze muziek niets mee van doen heeft. Ontzagwekkend in duisternis en treurnis, laten we het daar op houden.
Gorger’s Metal

It’s not without a certain excitement I get started with the album with the short and succinct name S.
S is the sequel to the monumental self titled debut Mesmur, released on code666 in December 2014.

The band’s stated objective is to capture the sounds of a world that was doomed from the beginning, something they’re doing from the outside this time, as their crushing claustrophobic funeral doom on S has a distinct ethereal feel of outer cosmos.

Something that ain’t short and succinct are the songs. The debut’s five songs lasted for a total of 50 minutes. Only four songs are presented this time around, but the total duration is shifted up to 53 minutes. The first three songs also clock in at a quarter of an hour on average.

Speaking of the debut. As my short Impression back then was in Norwegian only, why don’t we just as well start with that one?

As last time, heavy, slow doomsday poems are served with sorrowful moods and all hope annulled at the stroke of a pen. However, it takes some time to get the melody’s despondency under the skin, but when the misery fortifies its position, all hope in cosmos is lost. The stars draw their last breath. Some in a breathtaking spectacle, leaving black holes that’ll stay behind to clean up the mess long after the last heartbeat is registered in the universe. Other stars simply cave in and collapse. The light goes out and they die out quietly. Again, an all-encompassing destructive symphony is presented with beautiful but deeply tearful compositions, written as tribute to the end time.

My biggest critical remark is the sound, where something seems to be amiss. As a layer of cosmic noise caused by gamma radiation from the nuclear solar supernovae as the neutron stars detonate, radio interferes settles over the otherwise pleasurable resounding soundscape like a blanket sparkling with static electricity. I thought (or hoped) that this was just an audio-technical glitch. I tried with other headphones. I even downloaded the promo from another promoter. But the crackling persisted. This insistent grating harshness creates a lot of sonic friction in opening Singularity in particular, and pat me against the grain of my hair with sharp fingernails.

I doubt that the dynamic range alone is to blame, but I notice that the dynamics of the production have dropped from alright DR7 on the debut to weak DR5 this time. The band’s mastermind Jeremy L is by the way the one responsible for mixing and mastering both albums.

Gradually, I start ignoring this frustrating disturbance, just as you would eventually no longer notice a ticking clock, a noisy computer fan, or a whizzing ventilation system. In addition, the effect is fortunately not omnipresent. It’s muted a whole deal after the first song. All that remains is resounding doomsday prophecies transmitted from an unknown galaxy and picked up by SETI’s radio telescopes after travelling for aeons through the vast interstellar void.

Mesmur is something of an international constellation. The protagonists are American Jeremy (guitar and synth) and John D (drums). Both of Dalla Nebbia. The guttural sigh of discouragement is performed by Australian Chris G from Orphans of Dusk, while former bassist, Norwegian Aslak Karlsen Hauglid, has been replaced by Italian Michele M.

The last track, instrumental S = k ln Ω, is almost for an outro to be regarded with its barely seven minutes. The title alludes to Boltzmann’s equation. I’ve tried to wrap my head around this, but between the incomprehensible formula, my limited intellect and the heavy music, a triangular vacuum is formed, resulting only in high pulse rate, shortness of breath and nose bleeding.

To sum it up, I still favour the delightful first album Mesmur by a notch, but it should be said that it really blew me away, and that S is too a highly enjoyable journey amidst stellar darkness and astral vistas.

Tomorrow’s release date is for the digital version. With a bit of luck, the apocalypse will wait a couple of weeks, so that Solitude Productions will have time to release S on CD on September 29th. For whence our own sun extinguishes, we will only have eight minutes before it gets very fucking dark and deadly fucking freezing.

Author: Gorger
The Pit of the Damned

Torna la Solitude Productions, ritornano i Mesmur con il secondo capitolo della loro discografia, e il neo-sodalizio tra questi due nomi non può che essere un sound devoto al funeral doom. Il quartetto, capitanato dal frontman dei Dalla Nebbia, Jeremy L, coadiuvato da tre fidi scudieri, tra cui anche il bassista italiano Michele Mura, torna a proporre la propria visione apocalittica del doom, attraverso quattro lunghe tracce che, partendo da “Singularity” arrivano a “S = k ln Ω”, attraversando l’angosciante oscurità di “Exile” e “Distension”. Il suono come avete ampiamente intuito è un concentrato di soffocanti suoni funerei che, come già accaduto nel debutto omonimo, ha però modo di spezzare l’integrità di un muro sonoro spesso e soffocante, con degli intermezzi ambient assai melodici in grado di dare giovamento ad una proposta che rischierebbe invece di peccare di eccessiva monoliticità, come talvolta accade a questo genere. E invece, accanto al lento e logorante incedere ritmico, accompagnato dalle grugnolesche vocals di Chris (che abbiamo già avuto modo di apprezzare negli Orphans of Dusk), ecco apparire di tanto in tanto, giochi di luce, affidati ai synth di Jeremy che si diletta nell’evocare i fantasmi di My Dying Bride ed Esoteric, alleggerendo cosi di parecchio la loro visione fin troppo pessimistica del mondo. Chiaroscuri di matrice sludge, completano una traccia complessa che ha addirittura modo di richiamare i Neurosis. Dopo il finale al limite del noise di “Singularity”, ecco le note malinconiche e dilatate di “Exile” che si muovono lentamente attraverso suoni di una drammaticità coinvolgente, merito ancora una volta del magistrale lavoro atmosferico eseguito dai synth del frontman americano. La proposta è cupa e tortuosa, non mancano i rimandi agli Evoken, agli EA, agli immancabili Shade of Despair; splendido l’interludio esattamente a metà brano, in grado di minare la lucidità della mia mente ma anche di alzare l’asticella di un lavoro che sembra aver imboccato una propria strada, sebbene quelli esplorati rimangano i meandri di un genere musicale che ha il merito da sempre di continuare a rinnovarsi con band assai intelligenti ed originali. E i Mesmur sono una di queste, un ensemble maturo che ha imparato dai paradigmi di un genere in continua evoluzione ad ampliare la propria visione cosmica. E il quartetto conferma questo trend arricchendo la loro proposta di strappi black death (retaggio dell’altra band di Jeremy), come sul finire della seconda traccia. Con “Distension”, l’atmosfera si fa più perversa, complici dissonanti e disturbanti suoni in grado di deviare la psiche in modo assai pericoloso. Si tratta di oltre cinque minuti di musica delirante quasi lisergica che sfocerà nell’abisso di un funeral doom distorto e contorto che, percorrendo i pericolanti sentieri di una traccia insana e claustrofobica, ci condurrà fino alla conclusiva, epico-dronica strumentale “S = k ln Ω”, il cui titolo si rifà alla Costante di Boltzmann, necessaria per il calcolo dell’entropia nella termodinamica, quella grandezza intesa come misura del disordine dell’universo, generalmente rappresentata dalla lettera S, proprio come il titolo di quest’album. Che sia il caso di rivedere le leggi della fisica, che l’entropia dell’universo sia ancora in aumento? Se cercate delle risposte a queste domande, ‘S’ potrà fare al caso vostro.

Author: Francesco Scarci
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