Mesmur - Terrene (CD)

funeral doom metal, Solitude Productions, Solitude Productions
450.00 Р
Price in points: 900 points
SP. 149-19 x
In stock

The third album "Terrene" from international death/funeral doom act Mesmur is a colossal and moving sonic rendering of a dying world. Where their 2017 album S operated on a cosmic scale, Terrene explores similar themes of entropy and impending chaos in a more terrestrial context, and is rife with the suffocating dirges and toxic atmosphere the band is known for. Featuring guest flute and cello performances by Don Zaros of Evoken and the Russian Nadia Avanesova, and another stunning cover design by Ukranian painter Cadaversky, Terrene reaches new levels of scope and ambition for Mesmur in their objective to create a vast and immersive doom metal experience.

1 Terra Ishtar
2 Babylon
3 Eschaton
4 Caverns Of Edimmu

Artist Country:
Album Year:
funeral doom metal
CD Album
Jewel Case
Solitude Productions
Cat No:
SP. 149-19
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Ave Noctum

And relax… time for some funeral doom. You know the drill. Slow the metronome down to a heartbeat pace that would leave you clinically dead and hope for the best, right? Except that every time I return to this scene it’s almost always to be reminded things are very much alive and, even in sub-genres where you think you’ve seen it all, there is ample room for pleasant surprises. That’s particularly true with bands like Mesmur where the enjoyment is as much in the nuance and technical trickery as it is in sheer heaviness.

The human components of the band – from Italy, the US and Australia – have also worked on an interesting mix of projects from doom death (Orphans of Dusk), black metal (Dalla Nebbia, Intorment Black) and, in the case of its Italian bass player, various prog metal and power metal bands (Chaoswave and Lightless Moor). The result, while remaining in the confines of the genre, is something that feels more adventurous than the average. The best comparisons I can give you are Mournful Congregation or the ever prolific Monolithe (due to release its latest in a matter of weeks).

Terrene is an unfolding journey that meticulously crafts gloomy lows, often with jarring, discordant riffs and vocals that are sometimes barely discernible from the background distortion and gently oozing the light within the darkness that is normally and so sombrely offered up in Mesmur’s aural repasts. The bittersweet breaks are, thankfully, still dripping with gloom as the strings and lead guitar usher in the final half of opener Terra Ishtar, but there is little else here that will satisfy those looking for a comfortable ride to box-ticking funeral doom.

The 12 minute anti-epic Babylon, for example, is the hardest ride of the album. A plodding march across the shattered rocks and stones of long-since fallen temples and Hanging Gardens rather than seizing the opportunity for anything conspicuously grandiose. From there the album delves even further into a spiralling, spacey take on the genre which will delight anyone who finds sinking into sounds of trippy gloom on their days off and attractive proposition. Unlike Monolithe, the experimentation here teases at the edges of your senses rather than thrusts it before you, while also managing to build Mesmur’s own ashen-grey world of cheerless despondency where the only progress is the steady but certain crumbling of civilisation.

Terrene is a gigantic structure of near ambient sounds that purposely stumble from the humanly organic to the fringe of industrial strains. Tectonic riffs and oppressively dissonant guitars fade in and out of consciousness while hints of melody drift just out of reach. For anyone who picked up previous efforts – 2014’s impressive self-titled debut and 2017’s sumptuous follow-up, simply called ‘S’ – this will all come as a welcome and confident evolution of the Mesmur sound even though I wouldn’t go as far as to say this surpasses either. Terrene is just, well, different. Whether non-funeral doom adherents will have time or patience to delve within the albums slowly disintegrating astral nothingness is another matter entirely. But this is Mesmur and there is no apology on the tin for the casual trespasser or the musically unwary. Only doom.

Author: Reverend Darkstanley

Seppure questo nuovo lavoro non faccia forse gridare al miracolo come il precedente “S”, i Mesmur confermano, al traguardo del terzo album, di essere una realtà solida del panorama funeral doom. Le loro cifre distintive restano le medesime: rispetto a un genere tetragono e soffocante, riescono ad aggiungere dinamiche molto più varie e a tratti melodiche, che ne rendono l’ascolto relativamente facile anche per chi, magari, è meno avvezzo allo spettro più oscuro del doom. La partenza è da prendere o lasciare, affidata al brano più lungo, estenuante e sperimentale del lotto, ossia “Terra Ishtar”; ove si alterna sapientemente una trama quasi ambient, estremamente dilatata, a intrecci vocali variegati e a riff ribassati di prammatica. Già qui, ma ancor più nel seguito del lavoro, la presenza di tastiere magniloquenti aggiunge ricchezza alla costruzione di brani eterei e affascinanti, che sfiorano lidi di musica classica o di black atmosferico nelle fughe; non è un paragone improbabile, visto che due membri della band afferiscono anche ai Dalla Nebbia, band riconducibile proprio a tali sonorità, ma la capacità di integrare tali movimenti è molto affascinante (per esempio sul finale di “Babylon”). Dai titoli dei brani, sembra facile desumere un concept legato ai culti mesopotamici; forse per questo la ricerca musicale di questo ensemble internazionale si vota in questo capitolo a una maggiore oscurità con persino degli spazi dal gusto folk, come evidente negli archi evocati dal synth su “Eschaton”. La conclusiva “Caverns Of Edimmu” chiude in qualche modo il cerchio, riavvicinandoci alla terra dopo una fuga attraverso le stelle: è del resto l’uomo e la sua percezione terrena il fulcro dell’album. La lunga intro del brano muove da sonorità che rivisitano la tradizione mediorientale, con il basso del ‘nostro’ Michele Mura in grandissimo spolvero; non solo in questo brano, peraltro, le quattro corde creano una struttura possente e quasi indipendente sia dalle tonalità delle chitarre che dal lavoro variegato della batteria, aumentando la ricchezza complessiva del lavoro. E ancora una volta sono le tastiere, che sfiorano il sound di un moog fuori tempo, a condurci alla fine del viaggio, con un senso di trasalimento emotivo che è proprio di questo genere, ma che non tutte le band sanno farci provare così bene.

Author: Simone Vavalà
Grizzly Butts

If the body can be considered of this Earth, an immovable organic reflection of natural interconnected beings, then that mirror is yet in the process of a slow and aching shatter beneath us. Sorrow’s woeful humidity oppresses from above this feverishly expanding ruin, a brutal weighted fatigue sours the functions of bowel, posture, and wretchedly red eyes in all terminally chaos-fed beings. A new derangement of the human pulse sinks all into earned resignation; How we all adore the end when honest, O’ how we all worship Deaths-head incarnate around us! May it’s gawking maze-like face shock all into wanton destruction and instinct of survival — If only to abate the numbness of modern life amongst our privileged scum. Clambering for hope, the clamor of humanity among this extinction event is art that can never hope to reach the truly ill and earnest… The great funeral must proceed even as pallbearers fall dead around us, enraptured in their own private darkness and without a hand to grip in solidarity. The procession is the only gravity that could compel the spiraling ‘self’ to stray from loss towards self-love and the potentiated joy of a life made perpetual by the disapproving sneers from the mouth-breathing Uruk-hai that surround all. There lies the bard and unburiable ghost of world-spanning funeral sermon Mesmur, a painterly depiction of crumbled and haunted existence and a tombstone for the loss of high-functioning thought among men who’re forced into survival at this edge of an inconvenient extinction. This third full-length album, ‘Terrene’, is entirely of this Earth, a funeral death/doom metal severance paid between the knowing doomed and whatever haunted unenlightened might choose to no longer curse themselves with denial.

Mesmur formed in 2013 as an international funeral doom metal project with members based in the United States, Australia, and they’d swap their Norwegian bassist for an Italian around 2015. Their self-titled debut came amidst a great wave of innovation (and wider-spread popularity) within funeral doom that’d been gearing up since about 2010. As groups like Evoken, Aldebaran, and Colosseum began to receive more pointed acclaim and inclusion so came nascent modernists like Bell Witch, Lycus and Un. I’d count that debut in limbo between newer atmospheric death/doom modernity and the nihilistic dread of classic funeral doom; It certainly didn’t sound like a hobby project and didn’t cater to the lo-fi tendencies felt within the underground funeral doom of the 2000’s. In 2019 I find myself regretting fawning over ‘Mesmur’ too extensively and suddenly turning my nose up at their cosmos-attuned follow-up (‘S‘, 2017) which’d hit me at exactly the wrong point of autumnal impatience that year. That regret stems from enjoying this third album for all of the reasons I should have loved ‘S’; The bass guitar presence provides a weighty melodic voice (not far from recent Mournful Congregation but, faster) and their atmospheric values are sky high. All burdens accepted, I find it daunting to sum these four extended compositions into quips and emotional tangents because each feels too large and interconnected to slice into pieces. Yes, I am -that- sunken into and absorbed by the experience.

Guitarist and songwriter Jeremy L. (Dalla Nebbia) brings back some of the more affecting dissonant resonance of Mesmur‘s debut with a big and heavily layered tone, switching things up while carrying less early Evoken influence in his arrangements than previous. The emphasis on the bass guitar as a fully voiced instrument is (again) a notable point of reference when considering the overall evolution of the project since inception. The only point of dreariness I’d longed for was some of those raw breaks into death/doom on the debut, which I still find to be the most powerful parts of ‘Mesmur’. There is a tendency to see an artists progression in time as a gathering of ‘lessons learned’ but I’d rather measure the way forward with idiosyncrasies and emboldening musical personality, and that is the greatest thought fueling my vision of ‘Terrene’ as a great success. In terms of funeral doom we’re not quite adventuring into the avant-garde but the envelope is beautifully shoved forth on “Babylon” a ~12 minute dirge defined by insistently placed and ominous keyboard work, a finely layered flute accompaniment from Don Zaros (Evoken) himself and that lumbering discord that begins to define the further depths of Mesmur‘s sound as their discography unfolds. Funeral doom is so often in love with its own spectacle that many groups appear overconfident that their atmosphere conveys well, anything, and “Babylon” is a good example of a complete-but-subtle melodic statement revealing value beyond giant chunking guitars and indiscernible progressions.

Though I could delve into the fantastic lyrical prose within and crow on about the absolute delivery of everything that I love about Mesmur as “Eschaton” hits its apex but a fan of the funeral doom niche should’ve gotten my key points by now. Mesmur move at a pace that allows for complete musical statements, their songwriting continues to develop in astounding ways that appropriately fits the earthen theme of the record while still providing a trip on a massive scale. ‘Terrene’ has the benefit of powerful themes, sound, and a solidifying presence but also it comes in a year where the funeral doom experiences are sparse but high impact. As such, I can confidently count this among the very peak of funeral doom records released in 2019, second only the old gods in Esoteric. A great accomplishment and a greatly appreciated bout of ruin here at the end of the decade.

Author: terraasymmetry
Wonderbox Metal

This is the third album from international doom band Mesmur.

Mesmur’s 2016 album S was a heavily atmospheric slab of funeral death/doom, one which was notable for its depth of mood and delivery. The band have now returned with four new imposing songs, clocking in at 55 minutes.

Terrene is a crushing exploration of darkness and woe, focusing on the planet Earth and its multitude of miseries and troubles.

The songs are slow and deliberate, unfolding gradually into bleak soundscapes, with intoxicating forlorn melodies and richly gloomy atmospheres. It may be slow and despondent, but it’s by no means one-dimensional or boring; Mesmur know very well what they’re doing with the style. The songs are well-written, and each track transports the listener to apocalyptic worlds filled with terrifying existential horrors.

The music is enriched with synths, as well as, in places, cello and flute, (the latter two coming from guest musicians). The album’s tapestry is one made up of high quality material, and it’s quite easy to lose yourself in the warp and weft of the band’s compelling creation. Across four monolithic, glacial songs, Mesmur spread their emotive brand of misery for all to see and weep. It’s an engaging, absorbing experience, one which is well worth having for any fan of funeral doom.

Highly recommended.

Nine Circles

A red glow illuminates a path of ash. Lifeless, the only movement in the distance is a dark fog slowly ascending. The sovereigns of suffering, international death/funeral doom act Mesmur, paint a dystopian landscape on their third studio album Terrene. The album beautifully captures complex, heavy emotions through poetic, vivid lyrics backed by heavy synths and guitar, mixed with a hint of softness through cello and flute. Mesmur know how to create something tragically beautiful as Terrene displays raw emotions over the course of an intense yet dreamlike musical journey.

Terrene opens with ominous, slow but steady synths that slowly guide the listener to a world of sweet sorrow forged by vocalist Chris G.’s own hands. From there, a heaviness is constructed with sharp cymbals, drums, dense guitar, and growled lyrics. Eventually, the music is slowed and welcomes new instrumentation by guest performers—flutist Don Zaros of Evoken and cellist Nadia Avanesova. The sound then grows in intensity, creating a well-balanced rise and fall to each of the four tracks on the album.

The second half of Terrene welcomes choral vocals along with instrumentation that is hauntingly beautiful. A sprinkle of spoken word is also mixed into this half of the album, driving the imagery described in the lyrics of a dying world further into view.

On November 9, the track “Babylon” was released. This stunning single is the second track on Terrene and features very visual lyrics describing the wasteland of the ruined Mesopotamian kingdom. Zaros’ airy flute is featured here, adding an otherworldly feel to this already outstanding experience.

Mesmur is a relatively new band having released their first album in 2014. They continue to explore new worlds and dive into the vast, dense ocean of human emotion. Journey around burning lakes of acid tears and ghost towns, commence slow and soothing head banging, lament and immerse yourself in funeral doom with Terrene.

Author: Angela
Grind on the Road

Energia, adrenalina, decibel a profusione, crani e membra ininterrottamente attraversati da una corrente che genera fremiti e sussulti più o meno armonici… dalla solitudine delle camerette di adolescenziale memoria agli eventi collettivi sotto palchi inesorabilmente inondati di sudore, l’immaginario collettivo associa pressoché pavlovianamente l’idea del metal fan a quella del “movimento”, secondo coordinate debitrici dei debutti settantiani del genere con le annesse progeniture rock/blues. Se, però, si può ritenere valido e attendibile un cotale quadro di insieme per gran parte delle band che orbitano intorno al grande astro in cui brucia imperituramente idrogeno di conio zeppeliniano, un manipolo di schegge impazzite figlie dell’eredità sabbathiana si è via via allontanato dal cuore della galassia, finendo per occupare i gelidi spazi siderali dove sopravvive a stento l’eco del metal big bang primigenio. Ed è qui, in una sorta di nube di Oort pentagrammatica sospesa tra fissità e cristallizzazioni del ritmo, che hanno preso dimora le traiettorie artistiche generalmente catalogate come funeral doom, a identificare un sottogenere ad alto tasso di spopolamento e con pari quoziente di difficoltà sia sul fronte della proposta, sia su quello della fruizione ed è ancora qui che, a due anni di distanza dall’ottimo S, ritroviamo ancora una volta in grande stato di grazia creativa il quartetto dei Mesmur.

Partiti nel 2014 con un album ancora intriso di suggestioni doom/death di marca Esoteric, con il citato S i Nostri avevano affrontato tematiche scientifico/filosofiche alzando gli occhi al cielo e descrivendo il destino che attende il nostro universo alle prese con la forza disgregatrice e infine letale dell’entropia, che porterà alla morte termica l’intero sistema. Musicalmente, in quel platter erano stati messi a (proficua) dimora diversi spunti e arricchimenti rispetto al debut, a cominciare da un gusto atmosferico decisamente più affinato (i riflessi Shape of Despair possono essere un’ottima cartina di tornasole), passando per le andature cadenzate alla Skepticism, per approdare infine a non rare escursioni in lande black, dove si potevano scorgere nitidamente orme Gris. Completata l’esplorazione della volta celeste, i Mesmur scelgono stavolta il nostro pianeta e la nostra specie come oggetto di riflessione per questo Terrene, trasportando nel microcosmo dell’umana dimensione lo stesso senso di ineluttabile rovina inscritta nel codice genetico dell’universo. Come abbondantemente chiarito dai titoli delle singole tracce, lo scenario è quello di una Mesopotamia che, da culla della civiltà (almeno quella occidentale), ne diventa la tomba certificando il fallimento delle pretese di immortalità e di tutti gli affanni delle generazioni che si sono succedute coltivando la speranza se non altro di esserci, nel momento in cui calerà il sipario sull’esperienza del mondo conosciuto. Così, in una sorta di concorso di colpa tra ciò che il fato ha immutabilmente imposto fin dalla creazione e gli errori che abbiamo accumulato accelerando la fine di uno spettacolo sempre meno edificante, l’ultima dimora collettiva prima dell’apocalisse saranno le stesse caverne da cui tutto ha avuto inizio, stavolta senza la speranza di prometeiche conquiste ma, anzi, inseguiti dalla consapevolezza della caduta. Intorno a questo tema i Mesmur apparecchiano un’impeccabile macchina scenica, al cui centro troneggia una nuova Babilonia in cui la materia, lungi dal rappresentare lo strumento di una sia pur vana sfida al cielo, si è rivoltata contro i costruttori e chiude minacciosa la vista dell’orizzonte e del futuro. Ecco allora innalzarsi quattro monoliti impenetrabili e dalla durata chilometrica, in cui monumentalità e spettralità si contendono il primato e dove filtra a stento una luce crepuscolare che, lungi dal rivestire una funzione vivificante o almeno consolatoria, diventa un ulteriore strumento per instillare vapori sinistri nel corpo dei brani. L’opener-monstre “Terra Ishtar” chiarisce immediatamente a quale stadio di maturità sia ormai approdato il quartetto (e non è certo un caso che il buon Semenov se li sia tenuti stretti, sotto le insegne Solitude Productions), capace di tenere altissimo il livello di attenzione per diciassette minuti da trascorrere su un altopiano spazzato dai venti gelidi in arrivo dai ricami di sei corde, tastiere e mellotron di un sempre ispiratissimo Jeremy Lewis, ma in grado del pari di regalare l’incanto di un inserto malinconicamente melodico su cui si allungano ombre Swallow the Sun, Saturnus e Doom:vs. I ritmi diventano più pachidermicamente solenni nella successiva “Babylon”, offrendo al vocalist australiano Chris G l’opportunità di sfruttare appieno, in modalità che oseremmo definire “liturgica”, tutte le potenzialità del suo growl più sabbioso che catacombale, perfetto per intercettare il cadenzato incedere del basso di un Michele Mura semplicemente perfetto nel ruolo del cerimoniere nero. Con “Babylon” si apre anche il capitolo-ospiti (qui tocca a Don Zaros, in libera uscita dalle tastiere della casa madre Evoken, cimentarsi con il flauto), completato dalla violoncellista russa Nadia Avenosova che impreziosisce “Eschaton”, forse la traccia più multicolore del lotto tra i delicati arabeschi dell’avvio, un riuscito gioco di appuntite dissonanze che sfociano in un inatteso momento contemplativo e un gran finale in cui il drummer John Devos trova modo di esaltare le pulsioni black che fanno ormai parte del corredo genetico della band. Chiude il viaggio la spettrale “Caverns of Edimmu”, ultimo, disperato inno di un genere umano rintanato nell’unica dimensione rimasta ad accoglierlo; realtà o metafora poco importa, basta un solo verso per racchiudere il (non) senso del finale di partita che ci attende: “Catacombs, our home”…

Denso e oscuro ma attraversato da delicate linee poetiche pronte a emergere in superficie potenziando il senso complessivo di straniamento, palcoscenico desolato su cui rendere drammaticamente visibile e reale l’incontro tra individualità degli incubi e collettività di un destino ostile, Terrene è un album che entra di diritto nel ristretto novero delle eccellenze funeral doom ben oltre il recinto temporale di questo 2019. Anche stavolta vale assolutamente la pena mettersi in viaggio verso gli estremi confini della metal galassia, all’arrivo ci attende l’ennesima perla, nello scrigno Mesmur.

Author: Gabriele Zolfo
Da Music

Wanneer wij naar het meest donkere metalmuziekgenre luisteren, daalt er een soort van gelukzaligheid over ons neer die we moeilijk onder woorden kunnen brengen. De intensiviteit voelt namelijk aan als een warm deken bij koude winternachten. Vooral bij typische funeral doommetal overheerst dat intense gevoel. Neem nu de Amerikaanse band Mesmur. Sinds 2014 brengt de band platen uit, die ons in diepe gedachten toen wegzinken. Ook 'Terrene' is zo'n album geworden, dat blijft kleven aan de ribben.

Nochtans moet je er helemaal in meegaan om de best lange songs op dit album echt te begrijpen. Want laat ons eerlijk zijn: met songs van een gemiddelde duur van twaalf tot zestien minuten moet je zeer sterk in de schoenen staan om de aandacht van de luisteraar scherp te houden. Terra Ishtar is zo'n klepper die langzaam maar zeker je ziel binnendringt tot je, eens onder hypnose gebracht, de dood in de ogen kijkt met een glimlach om de lippen.

De monotone doomklanken, waardoor Mesmur groot is geworden, worden namelijk op zodanig intense wijze, zowel vocaal als instrumentaal, gebracht dat je je gewillig laat meevoeren naar het donkere gedachtengoed van de muzikanten. Eens je dat donkere bos van Babylon binnenstapt, is er geen weg meer terug. Eens Eschaton je na dertien minuten het nekschot toedient, is het over en uit. Caven Of Edimmu is het sluitstuk waarmee bovenstaande stellingen nog eens in de verf worden gezet.

Wie houdt van dit soort slepende duisternis, die langzaam maar zeker je hersenpan binnendringt, zal in dit werk van Mesmur zeker zijn gading vinden. Wat ons betreft is de band weer in het opzet geslaagd. Maar of iedereen zich hier kan in vinden, is een andere vraag. Enkel wie er echt voor open staat, zal hier iets aan hebben.

Author: Erik Van Damme

Four massive tomes of death infused funeral doom that comes in at around 55 minutes. Mesmur’s Terrane is the kind of album that gets you salivating at the prospect of what it might entail. What you find once you dig in is a mouthwatering release that doesn’t so much shake up the funeral doom world as it does cause the ground below to crumble and fall.

Is it a game changing album? Time will tell but once heard it’s hard to not think that it really should be recognised as such. The four tracks are each an individual travel through immersive and mind-altering doom. It’s in no way solely focused on being bone-crunchingly heavy even though it often is. Rather, the mix of glorifying dark melodies and slow crawl of horrific sounds coming from Mesmur’s instruments is mind-numbing in its approach.

Terrene takes some work. There’s no getting away from that fact. It’s very long, it’s very drawn out and the numbing effect might put some off. However, it’s such an expansive listen that it would be foolish to not even try it once.

Chances are, like me, you’ll be sold on the track Terra Ishtar and the other three are just the icing on the cake. Wonderfully tasty icing though, the ever evolving sounds of Babylon, Eschaton and Caverns of Edimmu are downright special.

This is a special album.

Author: Carl 'The Disc' Fisher
Metal Wani

There is a tragic beauty in sorrow and grief, and all stories ultimately end in both. Neither can be avoided, all that can be done is to come to grips with them and find your way through life. There is beauty because there is beauty in life and its frailty; to feel sorrow and grief means to live a life that has had love; and to have that is to have a life worth living. It is in embracing and sharing the strange beauty of sorrow that the funeral doom genre finds its home. And the multinational band Mesmur has tapped into the essence of this with their new album ‘Terrene.’

Two years ago I reviewed their last album, ‘S’, which was a Lovecraftian look into the endless void of space. This new album finds the band firmly back on Earth, and with that a more human, and thus more a more sorrowful and beautiful, album has been created. Funeral doom often comes in two forms, the type this album is, and the type that seeks to suffocate the listener with despair and misery. I find more value in the type explored on this album. The band is made up of four members who have never met one another, from different parts of the world, Jeremy L – Guitars, and Synth, Michele M – Bass, John D – Drums, and vocalist Chris G. The lyrics are handled by both the vocalist and guitarist. As the album consists of only four songs, I’ll hit on each one.

The album begins with the longest track, “Terra Ishtar,” which clocks in at nearly 17 minutes in length. Ishtar was a Babylonian goddess who came into popularity around 4000 B.C., Babylonian mythology is hardly a point of knowledge of mine, so I can say little more that would be of value regarding the title. The music starts quietly with waves of synthesizers, before the slow heavy crush that funeral doom is known for comes in. After a slow buildup the deep, almost hollow, growls come in. Lyrically it deals much of sorrow and impending doom, in part built on the mythology, but they also work perfectly well as themes for normal life. The band takes advantage of the full amount of time, both by speeding up sections (it IS still funeral doom however, so we’re not talking hyper speed), but also slowing the music down even more. Besides the usual instruments, guitar, bass, and drums, a sampled mellotron effect on the synths are used extensively. Best known for their use in late 60s and early 70s progressive rock, there is a timeless quality and uniqueness to a mellotron that I absolutely love, so am perhaps a bit bias in my enjoyment of their inclusion throughout the album. A very prominent section of key use comes halfway through, when the metal stops entirely and we’re treated to a minute of so of quiet washes of keyboards, which double for strings. The effect is quite realistic, the result is sublimely beautiful, and one of my favorite moments on the album.

This is followed by “Babylon” which continues with the middle eastern themes explored throughout the disk. Once again the slowly crushing metal is augmented by quieter passages, including some guest flute by Don Zaros of funeral doom legends Evoken. The shortest track on the album, while not as sprawling, it remains effective in its pacing and use of dynamics.

The guest list continues on the following track “Eschaton” which features cellist Nadia Avanesova. This track wastes no time getting heavy from the very beginning, and the cello doesn’t wait for a quiet moment to begin, instead joining the slowly crushing guitars and bass. The result is a very effective combination of beauty and brutality, mirroring the lyrics which deal with the collapse and destruction of society and the world as we know it. At around the 7 minute mark the music changes and mirrors the sounds of sirens, or airhorns, as would be heard for an air raid or most apocalyptic scenario. This bleeds directly into a quiet section highlighting the cello and the spoken word vocals of Chris. The result is a haunting and achingly beautiful requiem for a dying world, suffering the wrath of a vengeful God, before the mayhem and heaviness comes back. The switch in sound simply serves to make the heaviness more effective.

The album closes with “Caverns Of Edimmu.” Edimmu are, according to my fairly brief reading, a type of vengeful demon or ghost in the ancient Summarian religion. I will admit, I don’t find the connection between this and the lyrics to be very clear, as they read more as a general account of punishment and hellish afterlife. They are effective, however, and the deliberate hollow nature of the vocals serve to remind one of a final reckoning in an eldritch abyss deep underground. The keys and mellotron once more make themselves known, and the deep bass and quicker handwork of the drums adds a sense of urgency as the song progresses. The guitar work, while, like much of the album, focuses on riffs, remains at times slightly floating above the rest, and small subtle bits of cleaner guitar can be heard, which adds more to the atmosphere of the whole. The instrumentation comes together to grieve at the end, and closes things out in a highly satisfactory manner.

Mesmur has managed to create an album of both crushing agony, and sublime beauty, of deep melancholy and sorrow. ‘Terrene’ is firmly planted on earth and frail humanity, and our shared experiences of sadness and grief. This type of funeral doom reminds me of a heavy blanket; it pushes firmly down on the listener, but there is comfort and security in it, comfort of a common understanding, and humanity. It is a work that fans of this lonely subgenre should take note of. Highly recommended.

Author: Jonathon Rose

Al sinds het gelijknamig debuut van de Amerikaanse (Noord Carolina) band Mesmur in 2014 was ik onder de indruk van hun sound. Bij hun tweede album S uit 2017 vond ik dat ze inzake songschrijven nog een stapje vooruit waren gegaan en nu is er hun derde plaat Terrene. Thematisch bouwen ze verder op wat ze met S deden. Met dit verschil dat ze nu eerder naar de aarde kijken dan naar de kosmos. Maar we krijgen hier terug een sonische weergave van een stervende wereld waar chaos en entropie dreigen. Zoals steeds is dit niet meteen geschikt voor gevoelige zieltjes. Op Terrene staan vier tracks die samen goed zijn voor bijna 50 minuten muziek. Gastbijdrages komen van o.a. de Russische celliste Nadia Avanesova (mooie bijdrage) en Don Zaros van Evoken.

Opener Terra Ishtar wordt, zoals steeds, langzaam opgebouwd. Ze bevat, vooral voordat de song zich naar de outro toe ontwikkelt, mooie synths op de achtergrond die de sfeer mee bepalen en ook een zekere emotionaliteit laten horen. De zang is terug heel donker en lijkt vanuit de ondergrond van de aarde te komen. Ook de bas is hier sterk bezig. Babylon is ook heel donker maar lijkt minder lagen te bevatten. De zang is sterk maar er zit toch iets minder spanning in de song dan bij hun majestueuze opener. Eschaton begint alleszins goed met terug boeiende synths onder de rest van de muziek. Hij laat ons een hele mooie opbouw horen die zwaar, donker, melodieus en emotievol is. Die opbouw opent uitstekend de weg voor de vocals. De bridge breekt mooi met het voorgaande en klinkt haast als progmetal om dan terug verder te gaan op hun voorgaande elan waarbij hier de drums een doorslaggevende rol spelen. Amai wat een track zeg. Er wordt afgesloten met Caverns of Edimmu en die is zeker even boeiend als de andere songs. We krijgen een sterke ritmesectie in een prominente rol te horen. Naar het einde toe komen de synths meer op het voorplan om ons naar de uitgang te begeleiden.

Ook ditmaal slaagt Mesmur erin om het boeiend en uitdagend te houden. Gedurende drie sterke songs en één, naar hun normen, gemiddelde song nemen ze je mee naar een duistere en donkere wereld waar er weinig lichtpunten te ontdekken zijn. Muzikaal zijn er gelukkig wel lichtpunten genoeg. Hun derde plaat is minstens even goed als hun voorgaande. Een topschijf in het genre. Vanaf heden verkrijgbaar op bandcamp.

Author: Wim Guillemyn
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