Thursday, September 29, 2011

Mütiilation - Majestas Leprosus (2003)

For a long time, I saw the release of Remains of a Ruined, Dead, Cursed Soul as the end of the true Mütiilation. The records that Meyhna'ch made after his return from obscurity were something different and unworthy of consideration. I maintained this approach for several years, before finally deciding to give these solo albums another chance. As life had gotten unbelievably worse than it already was, I found myself open to exploring the demented works of his later albums. By judging them for what they are, rather than comparing them to the band's early era, I was able to appreciate them more. This was especially true for the March 2003 release of Majestas Leprosus which very well may be the best L.P. to emerge from this period of Mütiilation's existence.

The only real complaints here would have to be that the sound is rather sterile, due to the drum programming and the digital recording. It seems like the guitars were recorded directly onto a pc, really lacking any sort of rawness. Analog equipment and a real drummer (even a somewhat clumsy and half-competent one) would really have benefited this album greatly. However, Meyna'ch was probably just working with whatever he had available and felt compelled to create music, even if not via the most preferable means. If one can get past the cleaner, more mechanical sound, there is still a good deal of worthwhile material on Majestus Leprosus.

As for the songwriting, itself, Majestas Leprosus is filled with good riffs that hearken back to the band's glory years. The epic tremolo riffs of "Tormenting My Nights" and "Bitterness Bloodred" would have fit into the dark atmosphere of Vampires of Black Imperial Blood, without question. Despite the horrid production, it is clear that even the vocal patterns are more thought-out and Meyhna'ch's voice is utilized as yet another instrument. Once the listener is able to get used to the inferior production and focus on the guitar melodies, then it is possible to appreciate the sense of despair and hopelessness that bleeds forth. "Beyond the Decay" offers a few sorrowful melodies that also serve as a soundtrack to self-mutilation. "The Ugliness Inside" hearkens back to the demo period, though the wretched production does not allow it to realize its potential. Several of the guitar melodies on this record are quite epic, in a sense. For whatever Majestus Leprosus may be lacking, as a result of the recording conditions, the songwriting makes up for it. The final track, "If Those Walls Could Speak", is very memorable and does a decent enough job of maintaining the sickened, suicidal atmosphere. The gloomy tremolo melodies are quite haunting, while the vocals are dripping with a morbid feeling.

"At night I can hear the chanting of the dead… 
Here is no peace…"

Majestas Leprosus is filled with murky, lugubrious riffs, accompanied by extremely hateful and deathlike vocals, combining to create the most memorable material of Mütiilation's later period. Though the means of recording are unfortunate, there is still a genuine feeling of darkness that is conveyed by these songs and the sincerity of the compositions is something that makes this record my favourite of Meyhna'ch's solo work. If you are able to look beyond its flaws and immerse yourself in the atmosphere of melancholy that it gives rise to, Majestas Leprosus is very much worth checking out.