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Mezereum - II

by Chris Hawkins at 01 June 2021, 11:51 AM

MEZEREUM is an Independent Black Metal project from Lithuania.  As such, “II” is precisely what the name implies.  Contained within are seven tracks all composed and performed by one Skir thus making it in effect a solo album.

Imperative” begins with a solid melodic, driving bent.  It really is not until about halfway through that it takes on a Black Metal sound with a slower dirge-like, somewhat DARKTHRONE-inspired riff.  While the production is not stellar, it is mostly consistent and worthy of consideration for what it is; however, strangely, the vocals are so hushed they mirror a whisper.  That being the case, I cannot truly speak to the quality of their character.

The following track, “Tacit,” begins on quite the somber note, and were it to feature a delay/reverb-heavy mix, it would be a perfect Blackgaze type of intro.  Critically speaking, were the track to feature but a hint of delay, it would really open up the sound.  The Doom-based melodies that preceded the Black Metal tremolo section mark the end of the song’s appeal, or at least, potential for it.

I have said this in previous reviews for Metal Temple, but it must be repeated here:  in this modern age of recording, particularly with he near-perfection that can be achieved in digital recording, there is no excuse for a less-than-stellar recording to be released.  Period.  This album does not qualify as a poor recording per se, but it could just use some polish via effects, adjusted levels, and overall extra TLC.  An independent release, I am certainly not holding the standard as high as I would, say, for a Metal Blade release for instance.  I love the spirit of independent albums and hearing someone’s vision thus let it be known that my remarks should be considered constructive criticism for many of the ideas presented within indeed show promise.

One such high mark is the slow breakdown in the latter half the third track, “Deterrent”.  For a moment, I was reminded a bit of the latest ASPHYX album, one of my favorite Death Metal records this year.  The song ends on a clean, pensive note which resonates seemingly on and on indefinitely.  Again, it is a song that displays a penchant for a clever approach to the craft.  “Reverie” follows and again has a mid-tempo approach, a common thread throughout.  Skir appears to be particularly fond of laying very methodical chord harmonies in an almost anthemic manner certainly more akin to Doom than Black Metal mostly repeated in the epic ending track “Erstwhile,” which eclipses the ten-minute mark and has the most striking, memorable moments of the album’s entirety.

Overall, while this is not my album of the year, it bears the marks of a prescient musical ear, albeit one tune inwardly.  One cannot help but wonder if the addition of another ear to the situation might foster an even more out of the box approach.  Regardless of speculation, it is a C-tier album as reflected in my review score.

Songwriting: 6
Originality: 6
Memorability: 5
Production: 6

3 Star Rating

1. Imperative
2. Tacit
3. Deterrent
4. Reverie
5. Quandary
6. Aversion
7. Erstwhile
Skir - Everything
Record Label: Independent


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Edited 01 December 2022

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