Rating:
8.5
MurkRat - Drudging The Mire
February 2011


01. Processional: Drudging The Mire
02. I, Rodent
03. Faceless
04. World
05. Electric Womb
06. The Mighty Spires
07. Speak
08. Berceuse - Slow Immersion


As far as I recall in a past review I had expressed my very positive opinion concerning Australia. Whenever a band appears from there and it's good, it's not just good, it's just plain awesome. And the odd thing is that this country has given birth to some enormous doom metal acts, diSEMBOWELMENT, Mournful Congregation and Abyssmal Sorrow to name a few.

MurkRat is another band hailing from that specific place of the south hemisphere. I've seen them being labeled as gothic/doom metal and to tell you the truth the only gothic part of their sound could be some references in the female vocals that bring forth memories of 80s gothic rock/post punk/dark wave female interpreters at their darkest and most sinister peak of expression. Henceforth one could refer to MurkRat as atmospheric doom metal in general. Drudging The Mire is their second full-length to date and it's here to, apparently, devour you. Even the sickening cover is quite representative.

The first thing that leaves a big impact on the listener is the ambiance the band evokes, everything in here is soul-crushing, devastating and leaves an impression as if you've been wandering among the ruins for years. Solitude reigns supreme and these ruins are no other but your desecrated memories lying in nostalgic blossoms bound to never bloom. The guitars unleash an ominous aura through their heavily distorted riffing and eventually reach a funeral doom pace with the rhythm section following the same tempo coordinates. Where the real magic dwells though has to be the lair of the vocal interpretation and the keyboards/piano factor. It's been a long time since I last listened to such simplistic piano/keyboard passages creating a thick and surrounding mist and for the first time in a metal band I witnessed how fabulous can be the combination of low piano keys with the bass lines and the drumming synchronizing so wonderfully together giving a different maneuvering meaning to the term "bombastic". Mandy is simply wonderful, not only she performs the guitars, the bass and the keyboard/piano (she left the drumming to Neil), she also owns a charismatic voice. A heart-felt interpretation of a broken widow regressing to the shadows, you will witness woe, desperation, some vicious form of devout self-pity and of course anger and lunacy through a wide variety of expressions and vocal tones.

In this musical envelope named Drudging The Mire you will find enclosed 72 minutes of dissonant beauty, 8 atmospheric doom metal compositions of which the 3 hold an ambient approach, especially "World" is pure mystagogue with all those chanting vocals. "The Mighty Spires", "Electric Womb", "Speak" and "Faceless" will demolish you so gently you'll be grateful being disemboweled with such atrocious kindness. The album is Drudging The Mire of your soul, you've been warned.

Performance: 9
Songwriting: 8
Originality: 8
Production: 9


 



Written on 16.06.2011 by
DerRozzengarten
"It is myself I have never met, whose face is pasted on the underside of my mind."
More reviews by DerRozzengarten ››



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JCJen7 - 18.06.2011 at 10:09  
Anything with the word "drudging" in the title will most likely be doom
Mr. Doctor - 18.06.2011 at 12:04  
This seems VERY interesting. Have to check this out asap.

Also... your description of the combination of piano, bass and drums makes me think of the ending of the song "Fair & 'Guilding Copesmate Death" by Theatre Of Tragedy, bombastic but not cheesy at all, powerful stuff.

I doubt the music sounds like that but I thought about it anyway XD. Thanks for the heads up!
Merchant of Doom - 18.06.2011 at 13:18  
Although, objectively, it's a captivating and original album, I just can't get into it that much. I find it repetitive and boring on the long run. The underlying keyboard and piano melodies are incredibly monotonous, so is the wailing, piercing voice. Basically, there is no variation. To be honest, the ambient tracks are the best. It's a doomy and repetitive version of Dead Can Dance. Guess where Lisa Gerrard's from?
Justicelust - 20.06.2011 at 00:22  
You really made me curious to get this album
R'Vannith - 22.08.2011 at 17:24  
Love the atmosphere on this one, very unique and most definitely soul-crushing.
!J.O.O.E.! - 08.01.2012 at 16:36  
I'm not quite sure how I let this slip by but I regret not hearing it last year. Great stuff.
Marcel Hubregtse - 08.01.2012 at 21:22  
Written by !J.O.O.E.! on 08.01.2012 at 16:36

I'm not quite sure how I let this slip by but I regret not hearing it last year. Great stuff.


when I posted a track of it on Facebook I remember you even "liking" it, you moron. Can't remember if you commented on it, though.
!J.O.O.E.! - 08.01.2012 at 21:25  
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 08.01.2012 at 21:22

Written by !J.O.O.E.! on 08.01.2012 at 16:36

I'm not quite sure how I let this slip by but I regret not hearing it last year. Great stuff.


when I posted a track of it on Facebook I remember you even "liking" it, you moron. Can't remember if you commented on it, though.

I have no recollection of that at all
Marcel Hubregtse - 08.01.2012 at 21:30  
It didn't surprise me you "liked" cause I thought it would be something you'd enjoy. But maybe you were drunk at the time and hence not recollecting it at all?
Enoch - 18.02.2012 at 04:51  
Be annoyed by the vocals.
omjaimes - 15.05.2012 at 18:49  
Nice review as always, read it made me interested in check the album again, and yeap!, was better than the first time I heard. There's so much of Dead Can Dance and Virgin Black (but the virgin turned into a dying witch)

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