Blutmond
Thirteen Urban Ways 4 Groovy Bohemian Days


4.0
excellent

Review

by Joseph Aubrey Castenell USER (6 Reviews)
January 16th, 2011 | 40 replies


Release Date: 2010 | Tracklist

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.



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user ratings (7)
Chart.
4
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
BallsToTheWall
January 17th 2011


48088 Comments


Good shit.

Digging: Root - The Book

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
January 17th 2011


32190 Comments


Awesome review dude

Hiperion
January 17th 2011


67 Comments


Awesome to see this reviewed, and reviewed this well. Ace, album is top notch stuff.

JustJoe
January 17th 2011


1422 Comments


BallsToTheWall: It's the sax, man!

Deviant.: Glad you enjoyed it! =]

Hiperion: This album is much too enjoyable to not have a review. I think that some of our fellow Sputnikers would enjoy this band. And, I'm looking forward to seeing how they progress from here. They've got a lot of potential.

Hiperion
January 17th 2011


67 Comments


Yup, best part about this album is the fact that it doesn't feel unconventional just for the sake of being unconventional, which seems to be about 80% of all avant-garde music.

Also, good sax in metal is one of the best things ever come up with.

JustJoe
January 17th 2011


1422 Comments


Exactly! They incorporate a lot of different elements, but the do it sparingly, so nothing overpowers the song as a whole.

I'm a sucker for genres that have jazzy elements and instrumentation. It's like sprinkling concentrated awesome!

Hiperion
January 17th 2011


67 Comments


Have you heard .neon by Lantlos yet? It doesn't have any sax, but its a really smooth jazzy post-black metal album that has become one of my all time favorites, i actually had it as my AOTY for 2010.

If you haven't, get it now, it's so good.

JustJoe
January 17th 2011


1422 Comments


Mmm, that sounds like something I'd enjoy. I'll give it a listen sometime this week.

Here's hoping I love it!

Hiperion
January 17th 2011


67 Comments


It's so good man, tell me what you think.

JustJoe
January 17th 2011


1422 Comments


Will do. It'll be interesting to see how it sounds, since I've been on this R&B/Soul binge lately.

Irving
Staff Reviewer
January 20th 2011


7503 Comments


Great review Joe - have a pos.

And believe me when I say that most reviewers with five reviews under their belt can't write like this yet. Good stuff man.

JustJoe
January 20th 2011


1422 Comments


I really appreciate you taking the time to read it. I'm going to keep writing. I've got something special planned for my 50th.

somberlain
January 30th 2011


2121 Comments


I've got something special planned for my 50th.

that's still a while away but I look forward to it
great job as always


JustJoe
February 12th 2011


1422 Comments


Definitely a while away, but it'll definitely be worth it. =]

Thanks, somby!

natey
February 17th 2011


4187 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

The album title makes me lol but this is really fucking sweet. Thanks for the great review.

JustJoe
February 17th 2011


1422 Comments


Thanks for the read, natey! It really was a pleasure to listen to this album/write this review, and the band definitely has a sense of humor, which I appreciate.

Also, Liars make me smile.

=]

MisterSteel
June 22nd 2011


453 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Review does the album justice. More people seriously need to listen to this.

JustJoe
June 24th 2011


1422 Comments


If only they'd listen...

MisterSteel
November 2nd 2011


453 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I'm just gonna bump this in the hopes that someone checks it out.

MisterSteel
December 2nd 2011


453 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Feel like Sputnik folk would enjoy this if they gave it a chance.



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