Lamp of Murmuur
The Burning Spears Of Crimson Agony


4.5
superb

Review

by blou52 USER (23 Reviews)
April 20th, 2020 | 62 replies


Release Date: 2020 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Something old and something new, something cold and something trve…..

Despite dwelling in the same nebulous void from which many raw black metal demos erupt, The Burning Spears… houses music remarkably dissimilar to its raw contemporaries. Straightaway, a listener may notice the production on the instruments is vastly more comprehensible and coherent than its raw brethren, but this is not without reason. One-man black metal act, Lamp of Murmuur, possesses many of the aesthetic qualities of raw black metal, but musically, the hazy and atmospheric cynosure of raw black metal is absent. Instead, he focuses on creating riffs with glacial melody and, dare I say it, catchiness. There is a definite influence taken from Immortal’s mid-career opus At The Heart of Winter, and such a comparison should not be taken lightly. Be mindful not to confuse influence for banality. The Burning Spears… doesn’t mindlessly clone the aforementioned album, far from it. Hopefully without appearing as a blind devotee to the demo, I feel confident in saying that every single riff encompassed in the demo’s 24-minute runtime is a work of meticulous black metal passion.

The Burning Spears… is bisected so that each half contains a short ambient interlude and one half of the demo’s only black metal song: “A Burning Spear To The Heart Of Dawn”. Normally, I would disregard mentioning ambient interludes like the ones found in the demo, but I feel they serve a purpose here. In the main track’s 20-minute runtime, Lamp of Murmuur only performs at a pace below mid-tempo a single time. Regrettably, this decision could be seen as one of the demo's minor drawbacks. Listening to the aural artistry infused in each 10 minute sequence is certainly not boring, but it can grow fatiguing by the end. By placing the dark ambient sections directly after the black metal sections, we get a small chance to recompose ourselves after the unyielding riffing now in the past.

Further aiding in the palatability of the extended sequences, the two halves complement each other by offering deviating styles. As if the two halves present here were a married couple on the previous Lamp of Murmuur appearance, they seem to have divorced on good terms since then. The first half was awarded custody of the melodious and epic aspects whereas the latter half received custody of the iniquitous and sinister facets. Animating the demo, the opening riffs exemplify much of what can be enjoyed within the first half. Vigorous dual guitar riffs charge forth, kindred bass and real drums serve as reinforcements, while a touch of icy melody and aggression preside over the offensive mounted against incompetent black metal. The riffs enliven the listener with their speed and ably avoid becoming stagnant by consistently varying what is being played. Upon starting the second half, the nefarious riffs present themselves as they have in the past. In what may come as a disappointment to certain fans, they don’t stay long. There’s a diminished emphasis on capturing an evil atmosphere. Again, the comparison to Immortal remains fitting as Immortal’s own progression from their evil roots is mirrored in Lamp of Murmuur's stylistic evolution. It must be remembered though, that for some animals to continue to survive, they must shed their skin or leave their home as they mature and come into their own. As Murmuur has matured and evolved, he has transmuted and tempered his songwriting abilities to what can be heard here.

Murmuur’s tight musicianship is indefectible with every instrument, eclipsing the capabilities of all but the most adept of his frequently atmospheric or “spectral” peers. The riffing is not unusually challenging for black metal, but when put into the proper perspective, the demo is truly a feat. The Burning Spears… is already Murmuur’s second black metal release of 2020 and, going off of the minuscule information available, Murmuur is the sole musician present on his releases. It’s rare for a one-man black metal band to deviate from simple drumming and bass playing a la Judas Iscariot, due in part by the instruments often not being the members primary instrument. Comparing this release to most one-man bands makes me question whether Lamp of Murmuur truly is just one man. His musicianship has been escalating since his debut almost exactly one year prior to this release and, based on his track record, it seems highly likely that we’ll be graced with another release later this year. Superimposed onto the instruments are the distant, anguished howls which hopefully provide the final impetus for any prospective listeners. Once all aspects of the demo are interwoven, a beautiful tapestry of black metal materializes, each thread imbued with passion.

If you consider yourself a fan of black metal and are still unsure of whether or not you are interested in listening to The Burning Spears…, then I have failed in my task as a reviewer. Hopefully you are excited to uncover the wealth of epic, passionate black metal that Lamp of Murmuur has recorded. Providing even further evidence of the dedication to his craft, Lamp of Murmuur has provided the demo completely free on Bandcamp, as he has done for all his releases besides the two physical media only demos. Factoring in the cost, short runtime, and supreme quality, experiencing The Burning Spears of Crimson Agony comes very highly recommended.



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user ratings (60)
3.9
excellent


Comments:Add a Comment 
blou52
April 20th 2020


340 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

A masterpiece IMO. The demo just kept growing on me; I've probably heard it 15 times by now

NightOnDrunkMountain
April 20th 2020


500 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

An excellent demo. Great that you covered this, pos'd.

parksungjoon
April 20th 2020


46886 Comments


writeup has piqued my curiosity, am listening as we speak

pos'd

parksungjoon
April 20th 2020


46886 Comments


pretty good, will return to it at a later date

brainmelter
April 20th 2020


8242 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

hell yaaaaaaas dude, this rules

brainmelter
April 20th 2020


8242 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

you da man

blou52
April 20th 2020


340 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Thanks guys, this is the best new release I've heard since Vehemence back in early 2019

zaruyache
April 20th 2020


27210 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

you reviewed their worst release tho D:<

blou52
April 20th 2020


340 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I take it you miss the more evil sound and raw production of their older stuff?

parksungjoon
April 20th 2020


46886 Comments


nah zaru just 3s everything

zaruyache
April 20th 2020


27210 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

no i 3.5 everything get my lore right parksdragoon u poozer

parksungjoon
April 20th 2020


46886 Comments


hey!! you said poozer!!

thats a devin townsend reference!!

ill have you know that bald prog metal man bad!!

reported!!!!1

brainmelter
April 20th 2020


8242 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

that bald man is pure evil

zaruyache
April 21st 2020


27210 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

i wanna post that pic of devins balls but i'm not gonna

parksungjoon
April 21st 2020


46886 Comments


i only look at pics of fascist black metallers sorry

Gnocchi
Staff Reviewer
April 21st 2020


18241 Comments


--dare I say--

*dare I say it;

A few other small wording issues that would help with your flow, but other than that it's a fairly nice read. Pos'd.

NightOnDrunkMountain
April 21st 2020


500 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

It's not by any means their worst release

blou52
April 22nd 2020


340 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Thanks for the heads up Nocte! The phrase seems strange to me when written correctly, live and learn I guess.

zaruyache
April 23rd 2020


27210 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

technically i suppose the ambient album is their least best, but of the bm demos this is most best at being least.

Dinosaur
May 2nd 2020


1372 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

god damn this is good.



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