For forty uncertain, eerie and downright unsettling minutes, black metal project Lamp Of Murmuur grips the listener with a sturdy hand and refuses to let go until fear, disgust and melancholy take over.
The lead entity – known only as M. – guides, or better yet, thrusts fans through a chasm filled with putrid screams, sadistic tendencies and animalistic compositions on latest offering Saturnian Bloodstorm (Argento Records). The third full-length from the California-based outfit does all of this while still somehow managing to pepper in delectable melodies, bopping-smooth riffs and toe-tapping lines
As haunting as ‘Hymns Of Death, Rays Of Might’ gets, there is no preparation for the downright abhorrent wails that escape M.’s mouth. It’s a declaration of damnation if there ever was one. Even the spoken words are delivered with a harshness that excites while at the same time warns. ‘Conqueror Beyond The Frenzied Fog’ takes on a raw black metal approach yet has the wherewithal to adhere to a structure that is generic and form-fitting. The screams and grunts are featured in a formulaic way which actually bolsters the song instead of bogging it down.
In all of this, M. leaves room for dissonant, gothic-infused strumming (‘Seal Of The Dominator’), and the interlude ‘Descending From The Aurora’ conjures images of entrapment in the most ghoulish way imaginable. Metal clanging and rustling paints a picture of the ultimate Saw-inspired dungeon game of life or death.
Saturnian Bloodstorm is black metal in the modern age. The production isn’t so primitive as to scare away sensitive ears. And the inclusion of clearly outlined rhythm sections is engaging and somehow comforting. But that’s where the comfort stops: Lamp Of Murmuur set out to terrify and threaten. Yet within those confines one stumbles upon a record which is equally focused on delivering a musically sound piece of art.
Buy the album here:
8 / 10