Good afternoon! We’ve reached the middle of another week, and I don’t know about you but I’ve been feeling groggy as hell. Stupid allergies.
My to-do list tells me I’ve got two albums to share with you, which are very different from each other sound-wise, but which are both scheduled to come out this Friday. So let’s dive in.
Describing the advance single from their album, the first band said “The main idea was to suggest a dualism and a complementarity between Eros and Thanatos from the atomic perspective: is the narrator talking about cell fusion or nuclear fission? The radiant and bright chorus opposes and supports the abrasive and obscure verses. This dual osmosis is what everyone has in their own Inner Temple”
And then the second musical entity shared the following: “The vision for, and the writing process for this next Mur album has been an absurdist wind. Conquest and transformation. Plotting particle and light into wisdom and thought. Is there real knowledge in flowing water? Can intent organize the stars into action?”
One thing I can say for sure, I am not awake enough for this shit. But let’s give these a listen anyhow…
Cosmic Order – Inner Temple (Argonauta Records, 28 January 2022)
Mur – Cut the Rivers Vein (self-released, 28 January 2022)
First up, Normandy-based trio Cosmic Order present their debut LP, a dozen tracks spanning just about one hour. Right away, the Alice in Chains vocal harmonies and Screaming Trees melodicism along with grungy guitars may have you experiencing an overload of early-90s nostalgia.
But soon you’ll find the band is more than just a one-trick pony and that Inner Temple goes beyond simply rehashing a decades-old genre. Once “Another Sun” (whose vocals resemble more of a Chris Cornell sound) rolls around, you’ll note some post-grunge elements starting to creep in; some later songs nearly cross the line into a classic heavy metal style, even introducing a little darkness and an almost gothic sensibility (for example check out the vocals in “H+”).
And as the album progresses further, the arrangements seem to grow more epic in scope — not exactly symphonic or anything like that, but epic nonetheless, in a prog-adjacent way that somewhat calls to mind the early 90s work of a different group of Seattleites (and grunge contemporaries), Queensrÿche.
So ultimately this particular trip down memory lane turns out to be a bit more meandering and convoluted than it appeared at first, but that very well may make for an even more enjoyable trip.
Shifting gears a bit, next we have the fourth full-length from Mur, the single-member existentialist black/funeral doom project from Minnesota. Here too we find ourselves on a bit of an unexpected journey.
While the album is only six tracks long, half of those are in the eleven-to-twelve-minute range, so it’s still a fairly lengthy trip. It starts off with a folksy acoustic part reminiscent of someone like Agalloch, but soon progresses to sludgy doom, blackened doom, doomened black, funereal sludge-doom, psychedelic doom, blackened psychedelia, and so on — spiraling and rotating among each of these for a while, eventually returning to simple melancholic folk for much of penultimate track “A Powerful, Uneasy Feeling.”
And ultimately the final twelve minutes (“Breach & Bitter”) provide some of the album’s bleakest, heaviest, slowest, doomiest, blackest, fastest, most chaotic, and all around most impressively epic moments.
Below you can check out the song “8:16 AM” on Bandcamp as a preview of the Cosmic Order album, and then you can pre-order a digital copy here (US) or the CD version here (EU). Cut the Rivers Vein is now streaming in full via Bandcamp, and pre-orders (digital or CD) may be found here.
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