Ever since I was a kid, I’ve had a deep fascination with outer space. I talk about it a lot in the pieces I write on this site, often because I strive to find music that makes me think of that giant black blob of infinity in which we all live. It enthralls and frightens me, and I usually find myself gazing into the stars at night when I’m taking my dog out to do her universal business.
The second I looked at the cover of “S,” the new opus from funeral doom maulers Mesmur, I thought about the mysterious vastness that surrounds everything. Digging into the music, that very thing plays out a million-fold, as the band’s slow-driving music feels like it’s dressed in stardust. The record also is a pretty significant shift from their 2014 self-titled debut, one that ups the imagination and torment and keeps pulling you back into their cosmic adventure. The band—vocalist Chris G, guitarist/synth player Jeremy L, bassist Michele M, and drummer John D—has members spread across the globe, which is pretty amazing when taking on their music, considering how tight and natural it sounds. Funeral doom has a special place in our hearts, so we tend to be a little protective, and that’s a major reason why Mesmur’s two albums have had such significant impacts. This collection is one that, hopefully, turns more heads, because Mesmur is a really fantastic band, and it’s time more people take notice.
The record opens with 15:06-long “Singularity,” a track that infuses the darkness with air, as creaky growls lurch, and the band hits its trademark ultra-slow-driving tempo. Spacey keys glaze while a cavernous assault opens, and keys plink like giant raindrops. Doom drapes are pulled over everything, while the guitars trudge and later turn cold. The track enters a dream state while spacey noises well up, and the sounds soar toward the sun. “Exile” runs 14:36 and has a chilling, somber beginning. The band eases into a long psychedelic jam, but then the growls rumble, and then we’re into a slow-gripping, emotional stretch. You can feel it in your gut as the voices echo into space, and the song bathes in gothy waters. Cosmic synth spreads, as the track opens in full and crushes. The growls gurgle, steely melodies lap onto the shore, and the music adds color to the blackness.
“Distension” is the longest cut, a 16:24 pounder that’s bled into from the previous cut and that lets guitars drip like an early autumnal rain. The melodies sprawl while noises pierce, and then a rugged riff begins to chew, the growls churn, and the melodies sprawl. Talky growls spread their arms while the band unleashes its power and drives as slowly, but heavily, as can be. Emotion pours from the band. The guitars cry out in the night, the blackness floods everything, and the song comes to a stormy end. “S = k ln Ω” is the record-ending instrumental, one that should flood your mind with all kinds of bizarre visions. A synth cloud rises while static picks at your wounds. The song feels like floating into space and beyond, as mystical dreams flood your mind, a well of keys drums up a strange aura, and the record ends on a zapping, charging note.
Mesmur’s transition into the stars is a strong one, and “S” is a record that should amplify their status, if there’s any justice in this world. The music slowly grinds your soul into the dirt and makes you appreciate the incredible space that envelops everything. It’s a big statement and a major subject matter, and after absorbing these songs, you might shift the way you think of funeral doom and the cosmos.
For more on the band, go here: https://www.facebook.com/mesmurdoom/
To buy the album, go here: https://solitudestore.com/shop/en/product/mesmur-2017-s/
For more on the label, go here: https://solitude-prod.com/