Review Summary: Sweet & Disgusting.Why aren't you doing something about this? How come the police aren't being involved in this?
This particular excerpt is rather unsettling within its pre-established context; the sample goes on the speak of the inherent dangers of infiltrating/eliminating cult activity, as the vocals are slowly being drowned out by an ominous atmospheric drift, a light pounding bass thump--a mock heartbeat--and the stalking drone of eerie key-synth notes. What acts in deftly establishing this macabre tone, further establishes this unsettling feeling; that is, figuring out the exact point where Blutmond begins and where Blutmond ends.
One of the most intriguing aspects of Thirteen Urban Ways 4 Groovy Bohemian Days
is the conscious decision to abandon the more straightforward approach to black metal--which typified the band's debut, Endzeit
--in favor of more avant-garde and experimental leanings: the band marries the brooding paranoia of Manes' Vilosophe
with the spastic delirium of Shining's Blackjazz
, resulting in a pastiche of disparate influences. Yet, instead of forcibly merging abstract, left-field elements and additives, Blutmond meticulously craft an album that is as open concept as it is open canvas.
"Mind Da Gap" is meant to be taken literally; the twenty-odd seconds of raw aggression is undercut by the sharp tapping of heels, light, foul cooing, and the subdued discord of urban nightlife, signifying--particularly on repeated listens--that this record deals heavily with the juxtaposition of sounds, and exists at the crux in which music and reality become intertwined. It's hard to discern, precisely, when the overdrive guitar of "You vs. The Modern Lifestyle Obsession" resolve into a throbbing sonicboom which is later undercut, or rather, accentuated by the piercing whirs of police sirens. The slowly plucked chords of "Metro Aesthetix"--a song that also sees disconcerting chatter become patient melody become crawling atmospherics become fractured groaning become howling sax notes dissolving into the whoosh of empty air and the skeletal remains of a misplaced club banger--overtake the chiming of the clock tower which ends "Martini Midnight Madness". The alcohol-soaked vocal drawl of "Working Poor, Yuppie Yeah (A/A 3000)" brings the light clamoring of the billiards room right into the nocturnal underground, with the collected swing of "Rebellion" nipping at its heels. And, to be honest, there's just something about the record scratching on "Cry.sys" that I can't quite put my finger on; it's a mother***er.
Blutmond's full arsenal of sonic assault and artifice is best typified by "Friday - Trapped In Mental Disorder". The song crawls, in a half-spirited stupor, amidst dank and unwelcoming ambience. The percussion begins to pick up steam; its spunk counteracting the raspy bellowing of the vocals, which have now shifted from vague and indecipherable to vaguely recognizable. The warm hum of the saxophone weaves, vigilantly, in and out of this icy aura, before being stamped out by revived drumwork and the repeated mutterings of the words "unable to forget". Guitars swell into demented grating, ricocheting off frenzied shouts; trapped in mental disorder. Headed by nimble strumming, and delicate tapping, vocalist and guitarist trade shrieks of delirium and hysteria; sweet and disgusting. The tense mood begins to peter out, as the shouting returns to muttering, only to later return home, screaming, aimlessly treading behind the seductive sway of the saxophone. And, of all the possible ways to punctuate a song of this nature, we are treated to clinking plates and idle conversation in outro. However, it's this subtly that makes Thirteen Urban Ways 4 Groovy Bohemian Days
such an intriguing album. The seemingly mundane is given equal treatment to the moody and theatrical. Compositions as intricate and as convincing as this render the more direct statements--like "Blind Date Broadway" and "Good Morning World"--limp and uninspiring. It is about progress, after all.
Clicking heels--again--and ambiguous toilet flushing must mean the party's over. It's interesting to note that--due to opportunistic album placement in my iTunes library--I'd mistaken the opening lines of Manes' "Nodamnbrakes" as an appendage to Thirteen Urban Ways 4 Groovy Bohemian Days
; it segues so inconspicuously, that I hadn't, initially, noticed any change. It goes towards their credibility that Blutmond's collages of sound benefit most when they have ample room to grow. Besides, it's much too entertaining to obsessively listen to the closing portion of "Dance N' Society", trying to figure out exactly when that alarm clock first chimes. Hopefully, we'll all wake up before then.