Lamp of Murmuur unleash bold black metal assault that pumps on frigid ‘Saturnian Bloodstorm’

Photo by Void Revelations

The treacherous, unforgiving winter months finally are coming to an end here in the States, and who the fuck am I kidding? In Pittsburgh, where winter used to be brutal, it snowed like twice. We barely get that season here any longer. The climate is just fine, though. All a liberal communist socialist hoax! I think it only snows in California now. Though Minnesota was grandfathered into winter permanently.

Anyway, at hand is the arrival of “Saturnian Bloodstorm,” the new record from black metal power Lamp of Murmuur and one of the most frigid records you’re bound to hear this year. Even as the temperatures stay in a holding pattern of kind of cold and not quite warm, this six-track destroyer maintains its power and can freeze you over like you’re in the middle of a Nordic forest. Sole creator M. digs into a similar vein as classic Immortal by sending gigantic gusts of metallic winds that chap your face and make your lips bleed, but you won’t mind the pain because you’ll be overwhelmed by the grandiosity of this thing. It’s also a great sounding album, which is not to trash his previous more lo-fi recordings at all. They remain awesome records. But this one of playing on a different level altogether. It’s massive and fun.

“Conqueror Beyond the Frenzied Fog” opens with a melodic surge, feeling grim and frostbitten, the growls crushing everything. The energy melts the thick ice, spacious synth clouds freeze nerves, and the howls crumble, the playing soaring. The soloing goes off, the pace rages heavily, and everything burns to a finish. “Hymns of Death, Rays of Might” is huge when it opens, sweeping you along with its might, the guitars and synth blending and jolting nervous systems. The power ignites as creaky growls chew on bone, murky mist clouding your vision. The guitars jar and freezing strangeness runs down your back, ghostly keys illuminate the trail, and the final bursts smash into oblivion. “Seal of the Dominator” invades with riffs, ramping up the pace and increasing the electricity. Hazy leads combine with unforgiving electricity, later getting slurry and disorienting as gothic-style drama increases. The pace drills, commanding riffs do their thing, and the final notes are mashed deep in the snow.

“Descending From the Aurora” is a quick interlude with noises surrounding and synth sending a beam of light through the night sky. Warmth glows as the heat helps tear through ice blocks and into “In Communion With the Wintermoon” where guitars jostle, and howls crackle into the night. The playing congeals and thrashes, splashing various colors into the mix, the leads blistering as the elements strike. The keys glisten as a heavy fog envelopes, and then guitars explode into the atmosphere, bringing with it wintry glory exhaling. The intensity begins to pull back as the winds gets colder, dissolving into angelic synth. The closing title track delivers rupturing drums, guitars dripping, and the metallic fury whipping through and sending everything flying. Melodic waves and thunderous growls deal quaking power, and the playing is striking and urgent, picking up the speed. Devastation reigns as the guitars hit the gas pedal and plaster, slowly giving its way over to an infectious synth vortex.

“Saturnian Bloodstorm” is the most energetic and slashing of the Lamp of Murmuur catalog, a record that M. seemed to be hinting at musically and finally delivering now. The hugeness of the record fills hearts and minds of those who have dined at black metal’s lofty halls for centuries and wanted more of that goodness that dawned three decades ago. It’s an album that gets your blood rushing even if you’re in the midst of frigid terrain.

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