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Et Moriemur – Tamashii N0 Yama Award winner

Et Moriemur
Tamashii N0 Yama
by Justin "Witty City" Wittenmeier at 14 February 2022, 1:10 AM

ET MORIEMUR is a doom metal band from Prague who formed in 2008; “Tamashii No Yama” is their fourth full length album and released their debut EP in 2009. Although I discovered the band on their previous album, the Greek inspired “Epigrammata,” and knew full well they were going for a different sound for this latest album, I was still not prepared for the journey my ears embarked upon.  This Japanese themed album is extremely diverse and filled to the brim with unique doom music that is unlike anything I’ve heard before.

So much has been done before in music as a whole so finding something truly different and out there is rare.  There is a difference between going against the grain and truly being a different type of grain.  There are few truths in the world so when you see one, you know it.  And the truth is there isn’t any band out there like ET MORIEMUR and there sure as hell won’t be an album like this within the doom world for a long time, if ever. I know little, if anything, about Japan, its people and their culture so I can’t really speak to how “Japanese” this album really is but it is obviously diverse with style and sounds that are very uncommon to the genre.  Traditional instruments like cello, harp, violin and even some I’ve never hear of before, like shakuhachi, blend in smoothly, flawlessly, and effortlessly with ET MORIEMUR’s brand of extreme and atmospheric death doom.

I’m not sure if “Tamashii No Yama,” is meant to be one long song but it is obviously meant to be listened to straight through.  One song, “Takamagahara,” is nearly fourteen minutes in length while another song, “Sagami,” isn’t even two and a half minutes long.  The point is, this is an album that is less concerned with structure and traditional approaches to doom and more concerned about letting its vision shine through with adventurous and smooth flowing songs that are all connected to each other in some way.  Considering the sound of their previous album, this was a brave step to switch gears like this.  But taking liberties with their sound isn’t all that is happening across the seven track, forty minute run time. Taking additional liberties within the confines of this sound is what makes the album stand out so well.

The opening track, “Haneda,” is a perfect example.  Even for an album that stretches the boundaries of doom, this song desires to stretch the album itself into more.  “Haneda” opens the album with as song that is not only instrumental but also not even metal.  The testicle fortitude required to make the opening song of an album like this a clean piano instrumental is rivaled only by how goddamn moving the song is.  Even after pressing play for the first time and thinking, “What the hell is this?” I was still both hooked and intrigued. “Sagami,” serves as a bridge from the clean intro to the heavier aspects in the next track but works well on its own merits.  The clean keys, simple yet lush, continue their backdrop while the death growls/dreams combine with the heavy yet sometimes melodic guitars for doom that manages to both be grim and majestic.

That next track is “Oshima,” and the keyboards nearly swept me off my feet.  The death growls and low rumble of the guitars and bass kept me grounded.  This song represents another startling aspect about this album: it is both heavy as hell and yet gentle and serene. This is truly an album that manages to be three dimensional by living in two different worlds yet apart from both. “Izu,” has a bit of a tribal feel to it and the drums go a long way in laying down an approaching danger and all the trepidation that comes with it. The unique instrumental is a stark contrast to the chunky riffs and low, vicious death growls.  The keys and riffs drift together perfectly near the end, and both are highlighted by the bass,

Nagoya,” has a whimsical build up that keeps up appearances well even with the doom injected heavily into it.  The clean chanting vocals are a nice touch and don’t over power the music.  Thankfully, the entire album shares this trait; even with so much going on within the music, nothing ever threatens to become too much for any one element to work with.  The last minute or so of “Nagoya,” is gorgeous yet tragic before the storm that is the next song, “Otsuki.” This is the most direct and violent track on the album, at least in the beginning, starting immediately with death growls barked out with maddening cadence.  Both the drums and guitar are very forceful and hit with purpose and lighting precision.  Halfway through, clean piano lays down a different approach on the same path.  The following composition is free flowing and heart heavy…anyone who says metal can’t be beautiful needs this album shoved up their ass.

Takamagahara,” is the final destination for this wonderfully exhausting ride.  Early on, this song is classical and baroque. It builds into more menacing tones but parts of the song are still intersected with moments of serenity.  There isn’t a thing wrong with this album.  If there is ever truly a perfect album going to be released this year, it is ET MORIEMUR’sTamashii No Yama.” This is a journey that only this band could take and the results have catapulted them miles above their peers.  If you’re a doom fan, stop reading this and go buy it.  If you’re not a fan of doom, stop reading this and go buy it.  This is just good music that is deserving of everyone’s attention.

Songwriting: 10
Musicianship: 10
Memorability: 10
Production: 10

5 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Haneda
2. Sagami
3. Oshima
4. Izu
5. Nag ya
6. Otsuki
7. Takamagahara
Lineup:
Zdeněk Nevělík - Vocals, Keyboards
Michal "Datel" Rak - Drums
Aleš Vilingr - Guitars
Karel "Kabrio" Kovařík - Bass
Honza Tlačil – Guitars
Record Label: Transcending Obscurity Records
     


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Edited 06 December 2022
 

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