Vnder a crvmbling moon Ii aging & formless

Vnder A Crvmbling Moon - II Aging & Formless


One year after their first full-length Vnder a Crvmbling Moon have refined their music now releasing an album with meditative, contemplative even dreamy music based on Sludge and Doom.

Even in the heaviest parts of this album, the music appears ethereal in its beauty. It is highly elaborated and delightfully complex. The lyrics are enigmatic and become one with the flowing music even if it is sung with harsh and hoarse growling. The songs grow on you with their sublime flow of musical layers and high-pitched guitars forming patterns paralleling the heavy main stem of surging sounds.

For this listener, the album seems wider and clearer than the previous album from 2023. It was of course extremely well executed, but it was denser, one might say heavier. That is not to say that this album is not heavy; it is after all Sludge Metal with all the mighty riffage and dynamic atmosphere-building that comes with that. Although the band has its distinct take on the genre, it is obvious that their music is inspired by the giants of the genre, at least by Cult of Luna. It is difficult to make music in this genre without the audience drawing some comparisons with the big players. Therefore it is refreshing when new bands like Vnder a Crvmbling Moon with seasoned musicians approach the genre with a distinct take on the genre and push its borders further.

The brooding album opens with ”Nomad” where fuzzy guitar sounds and gliding sound effects fade in before the riffs begin playing in two channels like searching for a lost chord to begin the song with. Drums emerge immersed in the massive distorted guitar sound with the bass also in search of the chord. The music flows forward and the bass begins to rumble grooves as the drummer discovers the right pace for the song. Soon the guitars find the chord and form a melodic theme that is repeated with a glissading mode reinforcing the flow of the music. A higher-pitched fuzzy guitar lifts the ambiance of the song to a new level with an upsurge of the massive soundscape flowing forward. The song takes a subtle shift and hoarse growling vocals appear embraced by sludgy riffs with intricate patterns. The lyrics fit perfectly to the song´s drift: ”My eyes see the horizon / Once again I breathe, breathe the frozen air / This journey is endless / Drifting into nothing, begins to heal my bones”.

The album continues and the way the instruments and vocals are orchestrated with bass and drums deeply immersed in the flow of entangled guitars makes it an enthralling experience. The songs are diverse in their intricacy and you will constantly discover new levels and connections in the surging and swelling music. The second song ”Nocturnal Passenger” has a heavier streak as it opens with heavy melodic riffs, deep drums, and slow-paced bass before it pans out with higher pitches. Throughout it tightens and loosens and when it pans out there are subtle shifts in the stream of sound. The hoarse growls sink into the music singing in the lower tone levels. Toward the end, the music becomes even heavier after it has gone circling around a higher-pitched guitar.

The album, like the previous one, clocks in at an hour with most songs around the ten-minute mark, the longest at thirteen minutes. Songs in this genre should always be as long as this because it lets the composer develop the structures. But it also demands that no long song should have a dull moment. On this album, there are no such moments even in the most sedate ambient seconds. It might be somber, but it is never dull. And even the shortest song, the instrumental 3,5-minute long ”Procession” is carefully developed as distant sounds emerge from a guitar and are met by translucent riffs. The guitars circle each other as if exploring different soundscapes and in the middle, a higher-pitched one appears to find a theme to explore. The music halts and lingers and glistening sound effects end the song. It is, as the rest of the album, immaculately executed.

The vocals, though mostly hoarse emotional growls, also vary with the flow of the songs and have a deep impact on the sonics. On ”Breach The Sky” they are sung in harmony with itself and lead the song to a faster-paced end where sounds lead to the next song. In the last song ”Bury Me With The Fallen Tree” the vocalist also uses snarling vocals as the song takes a shift to a faster pace matching the hoarse growls. Here and in other parts of the album, the music is surging forward, embracing the hoarse and snarling vocals. In the soft and beautiful song ”Fall … Still the vocalizing is reflective, clean, and deep fitting the glissading sense demanded by the guitar lines.

The album closer ”Bury Me With The Fallen Tree” is the longest and heaviest on the album. The bass forms a melodic theme at the bottom as the heavy riffs glide undulating forward towards the hoarse vocals. Underneath the vocals one guitar begins to play a tune of itself in between slow Sludge riffs embracing the other instruments and vocals. The flow slows down into dense heaviness as a guitar rises above repeating chords before everything expands with riffing guitars and low frequent sound effects introducing a new part of the song where the Sludge foundation becomes more atmospheric and widespread. The holistic approach to the orchestration of the music makes the song a slow long dense and heavy crescendo with glissading parts in the layers. Towards the end, the song sinks into glistening effects fading away.

The lyrics of the last song also sum up the contemplative sense the album´s music embraces the listener with: ”Leave-me-here, in the oakenfields / So I can feel the sun / Bury me, with the fallen trees / So we can sing, forever / Forever! / Forever! / Forever! / Forever…”