Saturday 5 September 2020

MuN ~ PRESOMNIA .... review


You could easily promote Polish prog/doom/psych/post-rockers MuN as coming in three distinctive flavors, the first flavor would be the heavy instrumental post-rock the band (as a trio) explored on their debut "Axis Mundi", the second flavor would be the slightly more proggish/space rock, but equally heavy, direction the band moved towards on their second release "Opia", (which also first saw the band employ the services of a vocalist), and the third flavor would be the one they are currently jamming with their latest release "Presomnia" (Piranha Records), a much harder, intense sound reflected in both its musical impact and its vocal dynamics.

"Presomnia" opens with "Intro" a brief instrumental decorated with drone effects, circular guitar motifs and tribal tinted percussion that then gradually fades away and then swells into existence again as the intro for its following track "Scowl". "Scowl" is a superb indication of how far MuN have progressed since their last release, not only as musicians but also as songwriters/arrangers, the song containing all the elements toyed and experimented with on the bands previous releases but adding to that mix a grittier, harsher edge that, although wasn't exactly missing from "Axis Mundi" and "Opia", is here ramped up to the nth degree. This "ramping up" in both musicality and intensity runs throughout the seven songs that make up "Presomnia" and when combined with the wider spectrum of vocal tones employed makes for a far more immersive and satisfying listening experience. This is especially evident on songs like "Arthur" and "Verity" where the grooves regularly transition between gentle post-rock ambience and crunching brutality and the vocals can shift from melodic growls to harsh feral roars in an instant. The band are also not afraid to get a little relentless either as the ferocious "Deceit" will attest to, a song that does not only pin you to the wall with its savage onslaught it pushes you through it! The album finishes with an epic in the shape of "Decree" a song that takes all the elements visited and experimented with on the albums previous songs and wraps them all together in one song, complex chord structures, bone-shaking bass motifs and intricate rhythmic patterns coupling with  hushed vocal crooning, monastic chants and guttural growls to create something that is truly quite breathtaking and utterly mind-blowing.

Thought of as slightly more textured and maybe not quite as heavy as some of their Polish contemporaries MuN have with their new album seemingly gone out of their way to disprove this misconception, the band adopting an "if you want blood, you've got it" approach to their attack on "Presomnia" that could well see them wrestling Dopelord for the crown of Poland's heaviest export!
Check 'em out .... 

© 2020 Frazer Jones

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