Rorcal
Muladona


4.0
excellent

Review

by Robert Garland CONTRIBUTOR (302 Reviews)
November 28th, 2019 | 66 replies


Release Date: 11/08/2019 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The smell of wine and smoke dances in the air…

There’s some music that just fits the atmosphere of a still, dark night. Whether it be the low crack and glow of a fireside or the dim light of a single candle whose sole purpose is to light up a dark room. Layers of peeling paint and foreboding family portraits give that novel, vintage feel and a surreal atmosphere that can only be appreciated from sitting directly in that moment. Just picture it; an expansive room, the darkening red paint illuminated by embers in a fireplace. There’s portraits of indistinguishable nature littering the walls, a tall leather armchair, a gentleman’s silhouette holding a wide-rimmed glass with the embers glowing off the very glass between the fingers that hold it suspended, mid air. The mood is somber, haunting and yet... it’s relaxed and focused on the nothingness, on the hues of red, grey and black.

In many ways, the simplicity brings out an unforced, yet beautiful feeling. There’s a lot going on, yet nothing happening. And much like Muladona these moments are better enjoyed simply, in the half dark, alone with a glass of humagne rouge in hand. For the musical hybrid that lives within the Rorcal moniker the ideas of sticking to a niche comes second to the band’s gravitational pull to artsy what-ever-the-fuck they want to do style. Particularly, the band’s fifth studio full-length takes inspiration of the novel in its namesake and the tentative horror of Eric Stener Carlson’s narrative into a world of sonic transformation, pausing only on the atmospherical ‘heaviness’ of Rorcal’s soundscape to insert Carlson’s spoken word.

The album’s opening piece, and original excerpt from the written source of its being enters through Carlson’s spoken word. The supernatural horror (which is largely the record’s motif) is forced directly into being isn’t that of a conventional wall of distorted guitars and anguished screams. Muladona traps the listener, enveloping their being into this story. Rorcal take the nuances of Carlson’s bleak horror backdrop and twist every fibre of the evolving Rorcal sound into an audible landscape awash with post-blackened-sludge. It’s this hybridisation that brings each element into an anodyne and dense revision. “This Is How I Came to Associate Drowning with Tenderness” is an intelligent move from a band so willing to keep their listeners interested and guessing. “She Drained You of Your Innocence and You Poisoned Her With It” (yeah, these are some long titles) drops the album’s first unyielding display of typical Rorcal harshness. The band’s wall of sound is dense - bringing both lunging riffs and dystopian percussive weight. Rorcal’s more abrasive aesthetic is molten in design, liquid and forward moving, but it’s also cold and unfeeling, as they demonstrate the band’s mastery of modern genre-shifting, bleak blackened sludge.

The only flaw that comes with Muladona’s focus is just how it may dissociate those who want to invest further in the subject matter. The long song titles or the disjointed horror chapters may be inherently interesting, but when one can’t relate to the veracity of Rorcal’s translation they’re often left standing exactly there: outside, but looking in on closed curtains. Thankfully, this is a pretty specific scenario, (and as much as it is a cop-out to say) it’s unlikely to affect the larger audience to which this album is intended or the breadth the Muladona story would encompass in a written form.

“Carnations Were Not the Smell of Death. They Were the Smell of Desire” is a veritable smelter of moods and repetitive gradation, living in the realm of Carlson’s consistently horror-fed atmosphere. While Rorcal may place emphasis on the spoken samples of an author reading media, it’s the instrumental projections and the vocal force that bring one element to the next, and then bring them all together. Occasionally these elements overstep, overbearing and cancelling out some of the effect. Even tracks like “The Only Constant in This World Is Blackness of the Human Heart” offer relentless negative moods. Somehow Rorcal have prevented any premise of hope from entering their music, sticking instead to all manner of habitual sludge they’re known for.

The Muladona story may not constantly translate as desired by Carlson when narrated by Rorcal’s abrasive soundscape, but enough of it is conveyed in a summary of moods. At times, Rorcal’s music transcends the themes it relies on, but mostly it reaffirms the relation between the two. Despite this, the album’s core sound is that runs through the group’s previous records, particularly that of Vilagvege and 2016’s Creon. Muladona’s biggest selling point is the simple foundation of sounds where the record’s name-sake story builds. Rorcal didn’t find a story in the dying embers of that fireplace, nor is it the man drinking wine by himself. Muladona’s narrative is written on the walls, illuminated by the flicker of a candle light.



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user ratings (57)
3.9
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Nocte
Contributing Reviewer
November 28th 2019


10938 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Please forgive some minor wine rambling.

Sniff
November 28th 2019


5960 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

goes ahrd

Nocte
Contributing Reviewer
November 28th 2019


10938 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Sweet rate Sniff.

Sniff
November 28th 2019


5960 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

as i turned her corpse i kissed her sweet smelling hair and said. thank you.



DUN DUN DUN..... BAM... BAM BAM BAM

DDDeftoneDDD
November 28th 2019


9189 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Ahah was listening to this on train to work. Came to sput. Freshly reviewed...sweet...

Somehow this started to engage me on track 4, a sea of False smiles m/ atmosphere on the album is amazing!

Digging: Vukari - Aevum

DDDeftoneDDD
November 28th 2019


9189 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

End of track 3 "I sqeezed the trigger" then massive hook on track 4

m/m/

DDDeftoneDDD
November 28th 2019


9189 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Double post so:

"DUN DUN DUN..... BAM... BAM BAM BAM"

Nocte
Contributing Reviewer
November 28th 2019


10938 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Consistently awesome band agreed.

Sniff
November 28th 2019


5960 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

i like how you did the review btw. alcohol is good for writing

DDDeftoneDDD
November 28th 2019


9189 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

discog running today, hopefully

I read the rev and know that you often do music with dim light and red wine. This can handle that for sure, butt this album feels very urban for me. Its the perfect tune to kill everyone on the subway, or to think each and every head is a twisted mindfucked one.

Sniff
November 28th 2019


5960 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Just you wait for Creon. Demented af

DDDeftoneDDD
November 28th 2019


9189 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

I'll see you there X)

Nocte
Contributing Reviewer
November 28th 2019


10938 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This might be my new fav (tentatively) but Vilagvege gets my train going

JS19
November 28th 2019


7420 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I think this is better than Creon

MementoMori
November 28th 2019


135 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Record rules hard, band rules hard, although Creon remains my favourite.

Digging: Blood Incantation - Hidden History of the Human Race

Nocte
Contributing Reviewer
November 28th 2019


10938 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Definitely better than Creon

autoNamed
November 28th 2019


43 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Very nice review. AOTY material i'm pretty sure

Nocte
Contributing Reviewer
November 28th 2019


10938 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Of this year wasn't quite so jammed packed with defining releases i'd tend to agree.

MementoMori
November 29th 2019


135 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

@Nocte

Creon mostly appeals to me due to its noticeable Post-metal elements, being the expansive soundscapes, compositional structures which rely on building towards crescendos whilst simultaneously being very fluid and dynamic as well as the emphasis on atmosphere both musically and productions wise. Since post-metal is one of my favourite subgenres period, that album managed to appeal to me more than this release, which seems to embody more of a blackened sludge-metal aesthetic. However, judging by your ratings and tastes as far as I can pretend to know of them, it would make sense that you would prefer this or Vilagvege over Creon. Nevertheless, I think we can at least agree that Rorcal has never released a bad album.

Nocte
Contributing Reviewer
November 30th 2019


10938 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

You know, that's a pretty astute summary of my tastes. Have I let myself become predictable? That aside, I'm definitely on board with an idea of Rorcal equals great albums.



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