Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Mütiilation - Black Millenium (Grimly Reborn) (2001)

For some years, it seemed that Meyhna'ch was dead. This was implied in the liner notes of Remains of a Ruined, Dead Cursed Soul. As it turned out, he was merely on a self-imposed hiatus. Disgusted with the way Black Metal was becoming more trendy and accepted, he saw no other option but to disappear. Yet his anger grew over the course of these years and he then chose to return in an effort to spread darkness and evil and to take Black Metal back for the older cults. This is according to the notes inside the 2001 release, Black Millenium (Grimly Reborn). This album is only the third full-length from Mütiilation, despite the band's lengthy history.

My initial impression of this recording was not very favourable. I was disappointed that it didn't sound more like Remains of a Ruined, Dead, Cursed Soul or any of the earlier demo material. Still, I forced myself to give it a chance and to refrain from comparing it to the earlier works. Once I managed this (and got over the lack of a real drummer), I was able to enjoy the album to some degree. However, the fact that I became acquainted with it during a rotten time in my existence means that it is the album that I listen to the least.

"The Eggs of Melancholy" starts out with a brief acoustic section, with some other effects in the background. This sets kind of a dreary tone, though the tempo soon changes to something much faster and more aggressive. Will's trademark thrash style is still present within the Mütiilation sound, mixed in with the more typical tremolo riffing. Vocally, he sounds bloody possessed and insane. This is the true voice of humanity. That may be one of the things that makes this darker than some other albums, as there is a sense of reality that many others lack. The song slows down, a few minutes in, as a funeral bell adds to the morbid atmosphere of this track. Will sounds like a half-decaying ghoul, looking for a grave to sleep in. Everything about this is dripping with death, sickness and plague.

"No one to bless the funeral, the priest was buried one week ago
Fields are changing to mass graves"

"New False Prophet" begins with a strange and eerie feeling. The guitars are very simplistic, as are the layered vocals, yet it all works well to create a very unsettling vibe. A minute or so into the song, the speed picks up to a blistering pace, yet the vocal lines stretch over several repetitions of the tremolo riffs. I've read someone make a simple comparison between this and early Darkthrone, but the similarities are only on the surface, if at all. The feeling conveyed here is morbid in a very sick and demented sense. The stench of death hovers over all, as these dark and melancholic sounds surround you.

The next song is "The Hanged Priest", which begins at full speed, rather than utilizing any kind of intro. This song features more blackened thrash riffs, while being sort of mid-paced throughout. There are several tempo changes, though nothing terribly extreme. Will's vocal insanity is taken to deeper depths as the song progresses. The demonic voices, added in the background, are a nice touch as well.

"Inferi ira Ductis" is much more fast-paced than the previous song, being very straight-forward in its approach. The tremolo riffs are sharp and the distortion gives them quite a fuzzy sound. The drums are fairly simple, keeping the focus on the guitars and the sickening vocals. The melodies create a chaotic and tense feeling, while Will's screams convince you that you must be trapped in some hellish asylum.

The next song is "Curse My Funeral". It starts with a very eerie intro and maintains this feeling throughout. It's very slow and creepy, for the first couple minutes. The speed then increases with the tormented screams hovering over the mournful tremolo riffs. The sense that you get from this is that of reveling in sin and damnation; to celebrate the sickness and depravity of the human mind, forever abandoning futile attempts for salvation or anything other than simply wallowing at the depths of this abysmal darkness.

"My shadows is creeping on the grey stones
Descending the stares of a forgotten castle
The years have past and war time is over
Are those steps going to Hell"

"A Dream" follows this, though it seems more like a nightmare. It consists of acoustic melodies that are truly haunting, joined by eerily spoken lyrics that sound like something inhuman. The entire effect is disturbing and it succeeds in bringing to mind horrible visions and feelings of terror.

"Black Millenium" is full-speed Black Metal, being very straight-forward. The lyrics deal with apocalyptic themes of destruction, death and disease. It is enough to make one wish that it was possible to watch from the outside as the whole of humanity was utterly destroyed, with all civilization being forever devastated and left in ruins. The riffs are hypnotic at times, sending your mind to wander in worlds beyond.

"The essence of Evil comes from the inside"

A mournful and eerie melody introduces "No Mercy For Humans", though this rapidly transitions into something that is almost up-beat. It is a fairly fast-paced song, with the exception of sections where it slows down for a bit. The slow parts are very sorrowful and introspective. The best quality of the song may be the lyrics, however.

"I hate the way they move and exist but they’re surrounding me
I cried for days because of you, I wish you all die soon
No mercy for humans."

Over the years, I've found myself becoming increasingly disgusted with the mere existence of most humans. It's no longer a matter of them inconveniencing me or causing me any difficulty. Simply looking at most of them, studying their ugly faces and hearing their grating voices fills me with an uncontrollable hatred that will only be satiated when 99% of the human race has died by violent means.

The final real song is "Black As Lead and Death", which starts out with another cold tremolo melody, with the drumming being a little loud in the mix, early on. It's strange how this is much clearer than the earlier recordings, yet the necro feeling is still there in some ways, though not really the sound. The best part of the song comes when everything stops, leaving a lone guitar melody to cycle through a few times, creating an even colder atmosphere of misery. The song slows down, not long after this, as Will's vocals are completely consumed with absolute hatred and insanity. The sound is very minimalist, and this tempo continues through the end of the song. This is followed by an unsettling outro.

Black Millenium (Grimly Reborn) marked not only the rebirth of Mütiilation, but also the beginning of a new era for this grim and hateful project. There were still some ties to the past, with similarities to the solo material that Meyhna'ch recorded in 1996 (included on the Remains... album). Though it is different from the older material, the same morbid feeling is present. It is worth checking out.