MIZMOR’s fourth proceeds, ‘Only An Expanse’ a whirlwind of unadorned and raw auricular fury, which is strange, given the acceptance of the subject matter. Not so much resigned to fate as an “…in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content”, yet aware that moods shift, experiences at times flash through, and in others drag one into the slough. It’s rare that our bright flashes of happiness can be converted to a sustaining joy, also uncommon that a grief, a trauma, a general “bad event” doesn’t want to rest its weary feet in the cabin of our heart and lives for as long as we’ll allow, and the near quarter-hour of Prosaic’s opener covers all of those emotions. Plaintive, heart-wrenching solo work does battle with sub-level riff and positively filth-ridden bass tone, much the same for sole entity A.L.N.’s vocals here.
‘No Place To Be’ is drone/sludge as interpreted by Cro-Magnon on a level that should bring IRON MONKEY and SOURVEIN fans over with ease, so bestial, so bone-shattering is the attack here, a giant swinging down its club over. And over. And over. The trick is, though your innards are being pummeled to a congealed mess of gore, lyrically, there’s something peaceful (at least to my ears) at work (“…struggling just to be / Tossed about in narrative swells / Needlessly suffering.”). That at the six-minute mark we’re given a pause of quietude, gentle acoustic fingerpicking and an almost gauze-wrapped beauty, speaks to the duality at work within.
Oh, and don’t worry, searing follows.
The shortest track by far of the four is ‘Anything But’, and the most overall accessible, blackness interspersed with a film or audio sample I can’t seem to place before the walloping resumes, mire-soaked and yet quite uncharacteristically for the style, a sense of abiding calm – or a search for it – amid today’s caterwauling society. “If we could only bear to quietly sit alone / What if there was no problem? / What if this was enough?.”
The goal for this album, according to A.L.N., was to strive for something “…more honest and human.”. In this, both MIZMOR and Prosaic succeed – and greatly so – in birthing something simultaneously natural and otherworldly.
Review By: Lord Randall