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Mithridatum – Harrowing

by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 28 November 2022, 2:31 PM

From Bandcamp, “through mercurial waves beneath the moon's mournful glow, a trinity of incarnate beings that embody MITHRIDATUM have conjured forth the entity known as harrowing, an auditory pilgrimage traversing a Gloomscape leaden with dissonance, despondency, isolation, entropy…into the abyss. Their name refers to the practice of achieving immunity against poisoning through self-administered, sub-lethal doses. The allegory is inescapable in its illustration of the unrelenting immersion all incarnate beings must endure, willing or unwilling.” The album has five songs.

“Sojourn” is the first. Although the description of the sound is somewhat cryptic, the music is relentlessly desolate and harsh. Dissonant and heavy tones accentuate the sound, with quick moving drums. The music is very chaotic but there is a loose structure through some time changes. “Silhouette” is another weight, dissonant, and nihilistic affair with more meter changes than the average listener can comprehend. But, there is a method to their madness if you dig a little. “Mournful Glow” is a bit of an oxymoron at first glance. Listen with a careful ear however and you can visualize the glow. It materializes in front of you and hangs out there with a benign look, but is actually malignant. The longer you stare, the more entranced you become in its filthy gaze.

“Lower Power” is another dreadfully frightening and frigid affair. The band displays some real might and power in this song, title notwithstanding. It’s almost a demonic, unnatural power of sorts. “The Passageway” closes the album. Beginning with more dissonant tones, the passageway is located in the dark recesses of your mind. Choose carefully where you are headed, because their might not be an easy way back. The tracks you lay might be your tomb. The song goes through a few heightened changes along the way, as nefarious elements come into the forefront before disappearing into the dark once again.

Part of the key to their sound is the subdued vocals. They don’t come at you with 1000-mile and hour intensity. Instead, they keep a steady presence, allowing the music to come through stronger. The music is dreadfully bleak and gives you no hope for any absolution. Check out the album cover as well. It leaves some room for personal interpretation but it looks heinous and malicious. My one critique might be to try to diversify the sound a little, but that is hard on an album with this much substance. Willowtip finds another budding artist for their growing cadre of unique artists.

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 9
Memorability: 7
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

1. Sojourn
2. Silhouette
3. Mournful Glow
4. Lower Power
5. The Passageway
Lyle Cooper – Guitar, Bass, Drums
Geoff Ficco – Vocals
Marlon Friday – Guitar
Record Label: Willowtip Records


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