Review Summary: A dark, but ultimately beautiful record that sees The Mount Fuji Doomjazz Corporation expand their sound, whilst retaining the same haunting presence as before.
The Mount Fuji Doomjazz Corporation is a strange entity, straggling the line between a true musical vehicle and a bizarre side-project. An offshoot of the popular Dutch act The Mount Kilimanjaro Darkjazz Ensemble, TMFDC began as an ambitious experiment to create murky and unwieldy soundtracks to silent films, such as Nosferatu
. Yet the alter ego morphed into something else entirely, something more fleshed out and self-aware. Boasting their self-proclaimed "mutant jazz" sound, the band has released several albums filled with dark ambient soundscapes and jazz-lite elements. Until now, however, the band has always felt like a side-project; a mere vessel for the Darkjazz's more experimental leanings. But with its fourth record, Egor
, the Doomjazz Corp. has crafted a bold and vivacious record that is as dark and perplexing as it is beautiful and brilliant.
, for all intents and purposes, seems much closer to a Mount Kilimanjaro record than any of its predecessors. Featuring a less drone centered sound, the album draws influences from a wide array of ambient and jazz. It still retains the "free form" aesthetic that has been prevalent in both bands' works, utilizing it to give the album a very organic and spontaneous feel. Strings and brass play a much larger role than before, and the ghostly vocals reappear to give Egor
that special eerie sound that the band is known for. Even with the solid instrumental work, the album's strength lies in the stunning atmosphere. A palpable tension hangs in the air at all times, even at the most lulling and comforting of moments. It's nigh indescribable, like a nagging thought in the back of one's mind. This energy permeates the record, managing to be more affecting than most records could ever hope to be.
The Mount Fuji Doomjazz Corporation have always dabbled in the mysterious and phantasmagorical, but Egor
is easily their most accessible and bold recording to date. At many points within the album's four extended tracks, it almost appears that there is a bit of structure rearing its head. Bopping trumpets and somber violins maddeningly dance with one another against the timbre's background, but it feels much more planned than ever before. This may come as a disappointment to those who've fallen for the uncompromisingly unhinged nature of the band's older material, but rest assured, Egor
is beautifully composed. Darkness swirls and roils at all the right moments to create the perfect tension, only to explode in a cathartic release of wild jazz and noise. Segments like these appear fairly often during the album's near 70-minute run time, giving listeners plenty of moments in which to be completely immersed.
Once more, The Mount Fuji Doomjazz Corporation has crafted an dark-ambient masterpiece fit for even the most jaded of musical adventurers. Within its bleak, formless shell lies a bevy of engaging sounds; an experience unlike almost anything one is likely to hear all year. Abandon all reservations and fall into the nameless and formless void that is Egor