Murkrat – Drudging The Mire …   Leave a comment

Every now and then an album comes along that is so different and unique, it gives the scene a much needed kick up the butt. I feel that this album from Murkrat called “Drudging The Mire” could be one of those albums, that is if people can put up with the tortured pain that the music on this 70 plus minute album projects. Murkrat are a two-piece band from Australia and have produced this album that is deeply personal and extremely unforgiving. The bands main and maybe only songwriter is vocalist, guitarist, keyboardist and bass player, Mandy VKS Cattleprod and her voice has so much depth and variance that really makes this recording a intriguing listening experience. On “Drudging The Mire” she screams, moans, cries, whispers, chants and everything else in-between in a captivating performance that keeps you riveted till the very last note. Musically it is mostly in the funeral-doom style but there is no pretty melancholic melodies to be heard here, this is an expression of pure emotional pain and suffering. What also makes this unique is the vast influences that range from Thergothon, Esoteric, Worship to 19th century classical music and that combination is simply brutal.

It starts with a 4 minute minimalistic intro titled “Processional: Drudging The Mire” which is a perfect dark and introspective way to set up the mood of the rest of the album. After that you get 6 very long, extremely repetitive, minimalist funeral doom pieces that are based around long – open chords and painfully slow drum beats. Keyboards and piano sections are added here and there but they are never beautiful, it is more of a case of pushing the oppressiveness level even further into suicidal realms. The music is baleful, ambient, and at times extremely abstract so if you are looking for something within the realms of traditional doom metal, you would be well advised to stay clear of this album. There is no point reviewing single tracks as the album plays like one long piece of conceptual doom-art and there is no weak tracks but there is also not one track that stands out above the rest, they are all of a high standard. I have to go back to Mandy’s vocals, female vocals in doom-metal are not overly common and when you do hear them, they are usually a throwback to the hippie proto-metal of the 70’s as in the vocals of Blood Ceremony and Jex Thoth. What you get with Murkrat however is something far more intense, chaotic and savage although it has its calm moments too. It is really the mesmerizing yet nightmarish vocals that carry this album and gives the album its strength. I have nothing but praise for Mandy VKS Cattleprod, she is perhaps the most dynamic vocalist of her kind in doom-metal. It is also worth noting that Mandy has painted artworks used by bands such as Mournful Congregation, Stone Wings, Lycanthia and Grenade so she is very multi-talented.

Visceral, meditative, introspective, spiritual and thunderous are just a few words I can think of to describe this album by Murkrat but it wont be for everyone. This album is dark, somewhat disturbing and is also a very demanding album to sit through in one go, the level of anxiety in the grooves is overpowering at times. If you want to hear some funeral doom devoid of the usual melahcholy that funeral doom bands get into, then this album is for you. Also if you like hearing female vocals but find the usual female vocals in doom to be a bit too friendly, then check out the crusty vocals of this girl. This is a all-round winner for 2011, out on Aesthetic Death Records….9/10
Aesthetic Death Records
Aesthetic Death @ MySpace
Murkrat Fan Site

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Posted February 26, 2011 by doommantia in Murkrat

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