08 Nov 2019 - Thorsten
Black-Metal | Hummus Records | Release date: 08 Nov 2019
This is the Black-Metal of the year and the one that vibrates the most without being really noisy. It’s more the story that causes a certain buzz continually.
“This is a story of the terrible events I witnessed as a young boy in Incarnation, Texas. Back in October 1918. Only a handful of people still living know what happened there.” If this is the beginning of a spoken word intro, laid on a harsh ambient soundscape, then you know that this is not going to be an album full of happy golightly songs. This is not your typical rom-com, it’s no popcorn cinema but it’s also darker than most other black metal stuff you know.
Rorcal from Switzerland once again prove, why a lot of people consider them to be THE modern masters of intelligent extreme metal and every single song on this record is a testament to that statement. This time they might have completely outdone themselves releasing an album inspired by the book of the same name published in 2016 by Eric Stener Carlson who also lent his voice for the narrative which is the red thread through the whole record.
The plot line follows sickly Verge Strömberg, who is reading all the time as he has a disease that keeps him indoors, making his voyage through a barren wasteland devastated by the Spanish flu. The young boy soon finds that something else is soon to arrive in Incarnation, something worse than the flu – the Muladona, a doomed soul forced to live in the shape of a mule, which must be confronted by the young boy if he wants to find out more about his town, himself and his mother who disappeared years ago.
The music changes within glimpses from drone to black metal, from noise to post metal. The vocals interchanging between the narrative spoken word passages and the screamed passages. The noisy backdrop of the songs only give credit to the Texan heat, the sand glistening under the scorching sun and of course the disaster looming over the horizon behind Incarnation. The drone parts are not only supporting the narrative but also building and birthing tension.
Not trying to dive into superlatives but you can hardly find a more thoughtfully concepted, more cleverly structured and arranged album this year as it immediately grabs you by the neck, swallows you whole, spits you out and leaves you wishing for nothing more but to go right back in.
“It’s coming for us. Before it gets you you gotta write down the story. You gotta tell everyone what’s happened.”