Mur - Brutalism

25 Oct 2019 - Thorsten

Blackened-Industrial-Metal | Les Acteurs De L'Ombre | Release date: 25 Oct 2019

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Over the years, the boundaries between genres have vanished more and more. Some think that is not good and try to remain pvre and trve to their roots, which should be tolerated. As long as nobody gets hurt for it. Others think that it’s good to cross boundaries and explore new genre-blending possibilities.

With Mur from France it is clear from the very start – they belong to the latter group. The six-piece combines so many styles and ideas, it is hard to twist your mind around all of them – some parts are noise, some have an industrial touch, others bear witness to hardcore roots while all of them seem to be infused with a certain black metal attitude. So if you are looking for a band between Melvins, Pitchshifter, Venom and Portrayal of Guilt – here it is.

Unfortunately, that sounds silly as all of the bands mentioned above do not have one single thing in common, and if you then try to get a mental impression of it, just by reading these lines – well, sorry, but your idea won’t do because Mur is more. Literally, they are more than just a combination of single ideas and styles. Over the last couple of years we have seen a lot of developments in black metal but Mur is still a new one, because Black Metal and Industrial and Hardcore (the three main pillars) have not yet been amalgamated as cleverly as on Brutalism. Take “Third” as an example – it starts off with an eerie, soft combination of slightly distorted, electrified guitar picking and spherical ambient passages until a hardcore drum part kicks in and changes the tone completely. Next is the blackened screaming by vocalist Jay and the song swirls and whirls around always accompanied by synthesizers to give it some kind of gloom-factor. The rhythm section slows the song down with industrial-like precision before it speeds up again and the shrieking noise parts become stronger and then fade again when a nearly alternative metal part gives us a little clarity with the synths now dominating again – the listener is thrown from side to side trying to grasp all that is happening.

Clearly, one might argue that Mur are trying to do too much, trying too hard to get as many people in as possible. If you want to see it that way, you can, but maybe you are missing out on the fun of a record that shows some really good ideas and is still able to convince because of a lot of overall composition work in order to sound as if everything was in its right place.