Thursday, November 13, 2014

Where It All Began

Le Mur ~ In Tenebris (2014)


The fine folks from Le Mur are back with their long lost debut album "In Tenebris", after having to be shelved back in 2011 it's finally getting to see the light of day in all of it's glorious weirdness. Back in April I reviewed what was actually their second album "Silentia Nova", and touched on how they've coined the name "heavy dark trip rock" for their sound, and while I've always said it was a spot on description, we all finally get to hear what spawned the title. While it seems like some of the songs are more straight forward on this, their first go around, there are still plenty of trippy sounds, heavy riffs, and psychedelic jam interludes in the (mostly) instrumental tracks.
After the creepy organ intro that sounds like it could be lifted from a horror movie, the album really gets moving with the second track "Cage", at eleven and a half minutes it's the longest track, but probably also one of the most straight forward in terms of structure and timing. Out of all of them though, I think "One Way Tick to Space" is my favorite, when it opens up with a drum beat and a whirring of buzz it only takes a few moments for it to melt into a simple, fuzzed soaked riff that meanders along until it runs dry and a new, more Sabbath like riff kicks off and runs along for a few moments before some howling, 70's styled rock vocals drop into the mix and really bring out another side of the band that you only catch glimpses of at other times. As it keeps rolling, the vocals fade away again and the jamming continues, with the swinging guitar leading the way through the last three or four minutes of the track. It really goes to show the group's range on a whole, moving away from the experimental sounds that drive a lot of their songs, and dropping back down to a Heavy Rock song that could almost be titled "Sabbath in Space". The rest of the album has plenty of the experimentation and rampant psychedelia that most people have probably come to expect from Le Mur, with "Die Nacht der Lemuren's" rousing saxophone fills or the title track's symphonic violin part that fits in perfectly with the galloping bass line that comes to a rather abrupt stop, just to be taken over by a chanting monk, that only lasts so long before a heavy guitar riff banishes all that stuff to another dimension and makes heaviness the law of the land. As you should be able to tell there is no shortage of weirdness, experimental thought, or good music.
You can pick up this one on some limited white vinyl from Sireena Music, JPC, in Europe, MVD entertainment in North America, or directly from the band at (georgios@le-mur.net), or if a digital file is more fitting for your lifestyle, there is always iTunes or Amazon.
~Skip

For Fans Of; Pink Floyd, Hawkwind, Black Sabbath