Saturnian Bloodstorm

Lamp of Murmuur

LAMP OF MURMUUR is a Los Angelos based one man black metal project that released […]
Lamp of Murmuur - Saturnian Bloodstorm album cover

LAMP OF MURMUUR is a Los Angelos based one man black metal project that released its first demo in 2019.  Since, there have been four more demos, three splits, an EP, a compilation and two  full length albums.  'Saturnian Bloodstorm,' is the third full length release. 'Saturnian Bloodstorm,' isn't as raw as the band's previous output.  It definitely isn't polished but some of the fog has been lifted.  I don't see anything wrong with this because it gives the album a full sound and all the details are easier to experience and digest.  There isn't one person in the world who would listen to this album and accuse M of playing anything other than 100% black fucking metal but this new album has maturity and focus that wasn't found in their previous releases.

The atmosphere is still cold, chilling, and unforgiving.  But the better production amplifies everything so great about the album's sound-which the musical equivalent of being trapped under layers of ice as you cry out to no one. I definitely enjoy its riff based approach, allowing a furious sound but still also allows the music to take the dynamics for a walk off the beaten, blackened path. The album is full speed within .1 seconds of the beginning of 'Conqueror Beyond The Frenzied Fog.'  The riffs are more intricate and, don't kill me, even catchy to a degree.  After the barrage stops, a little atmospheric piece of clean instrumentation makes an appearance before a blackened scream pierces the storm. It is the little things like this that make the album stand out to me, all the little details and nuances that keep me coming back to it.

The vocals are blackened growls with just the right amount of echo.  Another element that is used well are the keys.  Subtle and layered ever so carefully on the songs, they provide another layer to this blackened cauldron without making the music too orchestral or symphonic. 'Hymns of Death Rays of Might,' features, in some places, shouted vocals that borderline on clean vocals but they are still rough and work themselves into the song very well.  The later half of the song is a bit ethereal with the keys touching against the edges of the riffs.  Again, another example of how M throws these little details and pieces into the overall picture without compromising anything.

'Seal of the Dominator,' has some of the best riffs on the entire and the bass absolutely shreds as well.  The tone of the riffs is evil as hell and the groove had me head banging so much my headphones had to be nailed to my head.  There isn't anything wrong with the first two tracks but M really finds himself here.   The clean parts combined with the moments where the riffs slow down are fantastic and breathe even more life into an already stellar song.  'Descending From The Aurora,' provides a respite between the carnage but it's nothing more than an ambient piece that doesn't go anywhere.  It isn't bad for what it is but it also wasn't needed. It does, however, segue into the next track which is something I always appreciate with interludes.

'In Communion With The Wintermoon,' is focused on providing a journey of dissonance with the guitar-it definitely seems a lot of thought and care went into the song's beginning but that is also something I could say about every song.  The movement after the four minute mark is melodic yet it pushes hard with black metal rage.  I loved the next movement too, with M barking out his vocals over the riffs while the keys highlight it all. The title track is the last song and, like any good title track should do, exemplifies everything this album has to offer.  The riffs and vocals play off each other insanely well as the song pieces together faster parts, atmospheric keys, subtle hints of melody.  The composition of the song is expertly crafted-it flows so well the nine minute length just glides on by.

I think this is the best piece of music that LAMP OF MURMUUR has put out.  This album brings the project into a new, bold era without taking away anything released in the past-an album that honors the musician's roots while striving to march ever forward.

9 / 10

Almost Perfect








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"Saturnian Bloodstorm" Track-listing:

1. Conqueror Beyond the Frenzied Fog
2. Hymns of Death, Rays of Might
3. Seal of the Dominator
4. Descending From the Aurora
5. In Communion With the Wintermoon
6. Saturnian Bloodstorm

Lamp of Murmuur Lineup:

M. - Everything

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