16 Jan 2022 - Thorsten
Psychedelic Metal | Gilead Media | Release date: 14 Jan 2022 | Favorite song: Pareidolia
”And sometimes I question is this truth / even / worth / knowing”. I think I have hardly heard a sentence with more weight in the last few months. ALN, the mastermind behind Mizmor delivers another one of those records which walk perfectly on that razor-sharp edge between instant appeal and intricately-detailed songwriting.
Funnily he calls this record an EP, numerically he’s right, it’s just two songs. Running-time-wise he’s wrong, because 29 minutes is not an EP, but usually an album. Always referring to Bad Religion’s Suffer as a correlation – that album has much more songs but is shorter by nearly three minutes. Maybe we should just call this music? And how great the music on Wit’s End is! ALN proves once more that he knows how to re-invent himself and yet, stay true to the course he embarked on with this project.
This record goes a few steps beyond the blackened, doomy extreme metal that Mizmor is known for (maybe that’s why he calls it an EP): the first track is as close to folk and country as the second one is to psychedelic post-rock. If you need comparisons – the opening title track is a mix of Townes Van Zandt and Neurosis while the second one is centered between Radiohead and Sigur Ros. The opening ”Wit’s End” features a really raspy, guitar pickings that are either played on a slide-guitar or with a bottleneck. Over these slowly reverberating guitar motifs some words are spoken, among them the sentence from the beginning of this review. ALN is talking about how how difficult it is to really know and understand things thoroughly and how some people try to embrace truth like he once embraced religion and belief. Within the track his problematic relationship with religion and truth is clad into doomy metal, slow-paced drumming, high-reverbed guitar motifs that are meandering and vanishing, igniting and overlapping, stopping and continuing and it is as if we are witnessing a slow stream-of-consciousness with “the thinker” finally arriving at one’s “wit’s end” where he doesn’t know how to go on, where to turn or who to turn to.
This track is surely a track that one might expect from Mizmor but the second as surely is not, and that makes ”Pareidolia“ (the word means our human tendency to try to impose meaning on something that basically has none, or not the one we place upon it). I guess it’s not too far-fetched to say that this is trying to say that we place too much meaning on shapes, trying to associate them with an example of god’s will, insinuating that we know what that will is. Or, taking this idea a step further, that we place too much meaning on God even though we have no proof of his existence. The track starts with some shape-shifting, spherical ambient passages, that remind this author of Sigur Ros’ ”Intro” to Ágætis byrjun but don’t ask me why, maybe it’s the middle passage of ”Pareidolia“. The track also features some vocals that are a bit like the fantastic performance Thom Yorke delivered on the title track of Kid A. The fact that the new EP is able to evoke those ideas shows that ALN has established himself as an artist that goes beyond “his genre” that is able to incorporate other sounds and structures into his music and still remain Mizmor.
One should hope that he has not arrived at his “wit’s end” because it would be a shame if we didn’t get more music from him. Nevertheless, if it was the last Mizmor-release, one should admit that he keeps and impeccable discography. And that is a truth that is always worth knowing!