Saturday, May 16, 2015

Merdarahta - As the Dark Clouds Swept Away We Could See the Sunset

By Matt Hinch. If I ever needed affirmation that the rock I live under is nice and cozy I can just think about how As the Dark Clouds Swept Away We Could See the Sunset is the first time I've heard Merdarahta despite the group being based a couple hours away and featuring members of Fuck The Facts
By Matt Hinch.

Artwork by Mélanie Mongeon

If I ever needed affirmation that the rock I live under is nice and cozy I can just think about how As The Clouds Swept Away We Could See The Sunset is the first time I've heard Merdarahta despite the group being based a couple hours away and featuring members of Fuck the Facts, most notably Mel Mongeon and Topon Das. Mel handles vocals obviously while Das is responsible for bass and samples. Rounding out the contributors are Seb Choquette on guitars and additional percussion and Leigh Newton listed as drums, vocals and budda machine.

The album strikes a hard contrast between sonically bludgeoning doom and a noisy, ambient drone and does so in a cyclical manner. The tracks alternate between oppressive, sludge infested doom and its polar opposite in beautiful yet unsettling noise/drone. One moment the listener floats in a vacuum, detached from earthly tethers and the next is slammed, full force into the ground, repeatedly and without mercy. It's a roller coaster of conflict that has the capacity to incapacitate the listener given the right environment.

The ambient tracks are quite a bit quieter and as stated not really grounded in much. They make the listener feel detached. Almost lost in a sombre sort of way. But they are the sunset that is revealed. Introspective too, allowing the mind to wander and ponder between the dark clouds of doom that act as more of a lashing out.

The doom passages are smashing though. It's like the plod of some infernal entity flattening all in its path with slavering bellows cutting through the din. Slow, sometimes atonal chugs of resolute heaviness beating out the frustration while the screams send it forth into the unknown. Waves crashing upon dark shores, wearing them away and inspiring awe, fear and peace all at once.

It's a contemplative album on both sides. Its creators no doubt using it to work through things, as well as the listener using it to transcend the drudgery of everyday life. No matter which side of the coin is presented there is catharsis through any means possible, the hard way or the peaceful way, especially in the albums's closer "Poverty Will Spread".

As the Dark Clouds doesn't follow expectations of solid structures but it's not so much jammed as it is free-form or stream of musical consciousness blood-letting. It's doom of a difficult sort as well. Not industrial but cold, not organic yet human with subtle tribal or ritual connotations. It's a tough album to describe and only slightly less so to experience. You have to let it be what it is and assimilate it as such. It's about letting go and moving on to something better (at least that's how it feels to me) not about forcing something to be a certain way. Sweep away the dark clouds, the doubt, the regret and just enjoy the sunset.


Tagged with 2015, ambient, doom metal, drone, Matt Hinch, Merdarahta
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