Sunday 18 January 2015

Merdarahta - As The Dark Clouds Swept Away We Could See The Sunset (Album Review)

As The Dark Clouds Swept Away We Could See The Sunset cover art

Album Type: Album
Date Released: 20th January 2015
Label: Mass Salvation Recordings

As The Dark Clouds Swept Away We Could See The Sunset – Track Listing

1.Dirt Bodies
2.The Dark Clouds
3.Their Blank Stares
6.Poverty Will Spread


Current & ex-members of Fuck The Facts, Winters In Osaka, The Sun Through A Telescope, Mekhaya and Black Oak Decline come together to create dark and haunting atmospheres, with heavy droning guitars driven through walls of noise. Simple and subdued.

Solar Pulse (2013)
Breathe Electric (2013)
Fault of Air/Breathe (2012)
Snake Charmer/Towers (2011)


Mélanie Mongeon - vocals
Seb Choquette - guitar, additional percussion
Topon Das - bass, samples
Leigh Newton - drums, vocals, budda machine


Merdarahta is an Ambient/Noise/Doom/Sludge Metal Collective specialising in dark and brooding nightmarish soundscapes with hidden depth lurking in the background. I've featured Merdarahta on the blog a few times now and I consider myself a major fan of them. You need to be in a certain mood to listen to Merdarahta's music as their music is very uncompromising and where anything goes especially with experimentation.

Merdarahta's new album - As The Dark Clouds Swept Away We Could See The Sunset – is a 30 minute ambient driven effort full of hidden meaning and dark violent musical imagery. There isn't a set musical structure as such just the band unleashing violent outbursts of noise that defies logic at times. Opening track – Dirt Bodies – is an ambient and filth ridden affair with the band exploring industrial based doom/drone soundscapes with violent noises rattling in the background. Merdarahta demand your full attention as this album is an intelligent and thought-provoking ride into the industrial wastelands of the human psyche.

Second track – The Dark Clouds – adds haunting and indecipherable vocals that are full of pain of misery. Merdarahta also start adding hints of straight-forward sludge/doom guitars against the disturbing musical backdrop currently tearing through the atmosphere.

Third Track – These Blank Stares – carries on the distorted experimental noisy based sounds Merdarahta created previously. This sounds like the end to humanity itself as it feels like an industrial based nuclear apocalypse coming to life. It's an uncompromising track that left me feeling rather cold and angry with the world. The ambient noises leave you feeling isolated and all alone where death is only moments away. That's how it made me feel. Lets put it this way – it's a dark and unforgiving song. Possibly one of Merdarahta's bleakest songs and that is saying something.

Fourth track – Wounded – is the albums more straight forward song as it has a musical structure where people can recognise a beginning, a middle and an end. It's still very experimental nature but it sees Merdarahta create a more recognisable Doom/Sludge/Grind metal song to find common ground with. Merdarahta add more distorted noises to keep you on the edge of your seat.

Fifth track – Illusion – is an ambient drone based affair that offers a more jarring experience compared to the other tracks as the song has a certain delirious and trippy mind-inducing vibe with elements of soothing post-rock guitars appearing at the end that carries onto the last song – Poverty Will Spread.

Poverty Will Spread – is Merdarahta in more reflective mood with Mélanie's heartfelt vocals being your musical guide against the slow-paced guitars. I've never heard Merdarahta play a song like this before. It's a soothing Post-Rock/Experimental/Drone affair which sees Merdarahta venture into more heartfelt musical territory before unleashing a final 90 seconds of pain and noise that will leave you stunned in silence.

As The Dark Clouds Swept Away We Could See The Sunset is a beautifully unforgiving album. It may not offer any easy answers but the journey and destination of it all is a rich and rewarding listen you simply cannot ignore this. This album is a haunting and violent nightmare that I didn't want to end.

Brilliant and Highly Recommended.

Words by Steve Howe

Thanks to Topon Das for the promo. As The Dark Clouds Swept Away We Could See The Sunset will be available to buy on DD/CD from 20th January 2015 via Mass Salvation Recordings.

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