REVIEW: MESMUR – S by Jessica Johnson / Dark Art Conspiracy
A singularity is the point in a black hole where density becomes infinite, space-time bends, and the laws of physics as we know them cease to operate.
This is the perfect way to describe Mesmur’s newest album “S,” an infinitely dense soundscape that bends space and time around the listener. A meandering funeral dirge through the chaotic void that is the universe. A universe that was doomed from the start.
Mesmur is a funeral doom metal collaboration with members hailing from different parts of the globe: the U.S, Australia and Italy. Led by Yixja, the mastermind that brought to life the progressive black metal band Dalla Nebbia, along with vocalist Chris G (Orphans of Dusk), drummer Alkurion (Dalla Nebbia and Funeral Age), and bassist Michele M.
“S” is their second album, after their self-titled success, “Mesmur.” “S” will not disappoint fans of the genre. It does everything that funeral doom metal is supposed to do with a bit extra. Influences range from Evoken to Esoteric, Ea, Mar de Grises, Comatose Vigil, Ahab and Neurosis.
The music is not supposed to be “enjoyed,” but “experienced.” The synthesizer does a great job of creating a melancholic atmosphere that bends and fluxes around guttural vocals and discordant riffs that at times torture the listener with the dissonance of a dentist’s drill. At some points the distortion is very grainy. I’m not sure if that was an intentional choice or a flaw in the production. I also wasn’t a fan of the overdose of sound effects, but I suppose that was part of the experience.
Let’s talk about why the album was named “S.” The final track is called “S = k ln Ω.” This equation refers to entropy. I am not smart enough to give the exact definition justice, but put simply, entropy refers to a lack of order or predictability and the gradual decline into disorder.
I believe the song “S” along with the album encapsulates that theme. Each track is a progression into more chaos and disorder, with the first track being “Singularity” (an infinitely small but dense single point), followed by “Exile” (something going outward), “Distension” (enlarging, dilation, a ballooning effect), and finally “S” (breaking down into chaos). Indeed the first track is more tightly formed and dense than the rest, with harder distortion and more riffage. Each following track becomes more disorderly until you get to the end, which is almost an overkill of sound effects, and at times sounds like someone fell asleep on the synthesizer. But as a thematic representation of the expansion and break down of the universe, it’s fucking brilliant.
I also noticed that the cicada-like sound effects that ended the first song were played in the beginning of the last song. Were the artists trying to make an “S” shape through the album, or was that just a cool coincidence? Who knows? As one reviewer said, “If you look long into the abyss the abyss will look back. ‘S’ is the sound of the abyss looking back.” Perhaps I stared too long into the void with this one. “S” is a delicious descent into entropy. Each time you listen, there are new mysteries to discover.
So check out “S,” the sound of the universe’s demise.
Style: Funeral Doom metal
Label: Solitude Production
Release date: September 15, 2017
Jeremy L (Yixja) – Guitars/Synth
John D (Alkurion) – Drums
Michele M – Bass
Chris G – Vocals
Music and Lyrics by Jeremy L
Recorded/Engineered by Mesmur
Mixed and Mastered by Jeremy L
Cover Art by Cadaversky
Layout by Jeremy L