† And then the Curse swept the Earth

domingo, 15 de fevereiro de 2015

Mizmor/Dross "Split"

I was stoked to hear that Mizmor had another split on the works, this time with Arizona's blackened doom band Dross. For Mizmor, this is the final split in a trilogy of splits while this is Dross' first split release. I've been tracking Mizmor since day one, besides being a huge Hell fan too, I absolutely every single thing A.L.N. puts his hands on.

Mizmor's side features "IX - Crestfallen Usurper", a fifteen minute track that marks it's beginning with a blood chilling inhuman scream, as the environment thickens creating the perfect atmosphere for the ritual we're about to face in the next minutes. It doesn't take long until we're throw into the middle of this black metal vortex summoned by Mizmor. Raging blastbeats open way thru this nefarious wall of distortion totally controlled by the harsh and haunting screams of A.L.N. that once in a while, through the track, pulls off these insane squeals that are simply out of this physical world. Right in the middle of the song, the harsh and brutal rhythms open way to a more paused, and crushing doom-laden atmosphere. That kind of atmosphere that only Mizmor know how to do and got us used to in all of its previous releases. Although I feel there's a clear evolution on Mizmor sound, that grew naturally since the self-titled or "The untitled Winter EP", the black metal spectrum is getting stronger and it's becoming more present on every new release although it walks always hand in hand with the doom spectrum.

Nevertheless, the percentage of black or doom being used on this formula here, you can always hear it and clearly identify it as Mizmor's unique sound. And the sound recording on this track is just amazing. It presents us a more, let's say, expansive or kind of wider sound for the instruments, giving us a full audio experience with "IX - Crestfallen Usurper" that fills completely our eardrums and reaches every dark corner of our brain. This is the outstanding result of a collaboration with A.L.N. itself with Sonny DiPerri, a long time Hell and Mizmor fan, who mixed this track for this split.

On the other side, we have Dross with "Verdant" a thirteen and half minute track of the most bleak black doom. To me, I think that this band/track fits perfectly here along with Mizmor, since both tracks belong in this pallet of depressive doom that is constantly splattered with hints of black metal. "Verdant" has  this kind of live recording sound, almost as if it was recorded in a very bleak and cold environment, that's what exactly this track passes to me. From the rhythm it moves on, really slow paced to the sound of the instruments itself. And I must say that the vocals, oh the vocals... always creeping out from the background almost as if the instruments are playing right in front of us and the vocalist is one or two rooms below, so he has to shout his lungs out in order to those phantasmagorical screams be heard. The main thing on "Verdant" is the atmosphere. The stifling and claustrophobic atmosphere, that the band successfully manages to make it reach into our inner-selves.

This is a split release between Mizmor's A.L.N. and Cloister Recordings. 150 copies (already sold out!! Urrgghhh..) with locally printed art on metallic card-stock, featuring the artwork done by one of my favorite artists, Bryan Proteau (Cloven Hoof, Natvres Mortes), all hand-numbered. Each tape comes wrapped in parchment with a very good looking wax seal, half sealed with ALN logo, half sealed with Cloister Records logo. So good to see artists concerning also with the aesthetics of their releases, making these tapes a very unique item in our collection. Both tracks can be streamed below.

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