27 Dec 2021 - Thorsten
Ambient Noise Metal | Debemur Morti Productions | Release date: 30 Dec 2021
Mütterlein sounds a bit like “Lingua Ignota in metal” while she is having a musical flirt with Burial Hex and both are listening to some krauty psychedelia from the early 70s. Confusing? Not at all. Rather coherent one could say because it all flows perfectly. That’s the magic of the second release of this project by former Overmars-vocalist Marion Leclerq.
When I first heard this record I immediately heard that resemblance to Kristin Hayter but that is also in some ways a rudimentary thing, for Marion also uses some other vocal styles quite often, which surely also comes from her doomy post-metal background. There are those chants and also some rougher vocals thrown into the mix. However, one must admire the self-reliance and seeming effortlessness with which she embeds any kind of vocals into her music.
And here we come to one of the most awesome things about the record: Bring Down The Flags combines the aforementioned genres into one wonderful concoction of blackened electronics and near-ecclesiastical doom. The mix of industrial-type beats and floaty spheres works brilliantly and is the record’s red thread even though that thread might be broken as in the second track ”A Mass For It”: it picks up those nice synth elements that have been established in the opening track ”The Descent” and yet, breaks them after a while and serves as a perfect instrumental interlude to the next, very rhythmically challenging track ”Mother of Wrath”. That track is a bit like electronica-ladden stoner rock but then again all those little noisey parts and even ambient elements turn it into something much more sophisticated and yet more atonal (or discordant).
Of course, we must talk about the title ”Mother of Wrath” which implies something pretty ambiguous as the mother (like the name of the project itself also means “mother”) is a very warm idea but combined with “wrath” it is very grim. Putting that into context one can arrive at the idea that maybe Marion herself is a mother of harsh elements which of course she is, when we think about the music. She came up with this music, she wrote and (being the multi-instrumentalist she is) recorded it all by herself – and thus gave birth to this second Mütterlein-record. A record which plays with rhythms and harsh vocals set against the backdrop of ambient or slightly droney passages that in and because of themselves then strengthen the black-and-white-effect of Marion’s music. As if by darkening (or deconstructing) she construed a second, darker version of the bright original. That can also be the idea behind slogans like ”Violence And Misery” because her music comes from a place of violence and misery. The project’s name, Mütterlein, is also a reflection on Nico and her way of talking about femininity and the implications of being a woman. Many have spoken about the problems of only being seen as a complete person after having giving birth. The reduction of the feminine to human reproduction.
The last track, ”Requiem”, then could be seen as an indirect idea of burying the female self under the need to reproduce. Thus a requiem might be the eulogy for the individual that must always serve society by bearing children. This last and longest track is a mesmerizing glitchy track with meandering shock waves being accompanied by harsh drums and some swirling soundscapes. Musicwise, ”Requiem” could also be the best track Mütterlein has ever come up with. Its mix of post-punk and slightly dungeon-synth-like elements is surely one of the best things on Bring Down The Flags.
If this last track is an indication of where Leclerq wants to go with Mütterlein, then I can only hope that we do not need to wait for such a long time. Please don’t make us wait another more than five years for the third full-length! For this is such a unique song that the must let go of all the comparisons drawn up at the top of this review – Mütterlein is now its own and best reference!