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MurkRat : MurkRat

I must confess that I have a soft spot for Doom bands that are led by girls. In a way, it puzzles me; the slow tempos, heavy rhythms, gloomy atmospheres of Doom Metal do not seem to suit the... How can I say?... The female nature. Well, it must be stressed that, as a man, my views are certainly conditioned by the ancient, even though vile, universal sense of male superiority. Ok, maybe not a good excuse.

Nevertheless, Murkrat drew my attention on the net for this reason. And then my attention turned into admiration as I discovered the excellence of the band's music. Haunted and esoteric, the Doom of Murkrat develops, along the eight tracks that make up the album, a great emotional power. The deep, lyrical and restrained voice of Mandy VKS Cattleprod emerges from the depths of a rather raw production, grainy and unclear; a slight echo effect distends it and amplifies its shamanic authority giving it a true hypnotic power.

The very low tuned guitar coupled to the severe bass weaves simple riffs that release a very evocative magic breath. Set on the dreary and disturbing keyboard, the languid drums, they make up a litany full of fever, a mysterious chant to the stars.

The heavy and insistent rhythm of the whole, by its simplicity and austerity, its swaying effects of rotation evokes bewitching visions of a crepuscular pagan ceremonial. You can only nod the head to the profane dance. It is a dark ceremony that seems to be played under the full moon on the moss-covered steps of an ancient temple. There is in fact in Murkrat's Doom something twisted and bizarre that conjures up primitive initiation scenes; a vibration, a deep sense of the occult. The notes are fat; they fall to the ground and crash. The 8 tracks sound like 8 dizzy funeral orations.

The five last songs appeared on the duetís first demo: 'Murky Ratmass'. There are few varations compared to the first part, the most significant being the appearance of wild eructations as counterpoint (the drummerís voice, I guess), while Mandy experiments some more aggressive inflexions; her voice turns then almost into growls.

Fans of Jex Thoth, Blood Ceremony or Reino Ermitano, take an ear to Murkrat: these two girls will finish convincing you that there are in the female vein of Traditional Doom treasures that could be found nowhere else.

Reviewer's rating: Unrated


Tracklist :
1. Believers
2. The Predatory Herd
3. Morality Slug
4. Blessed Are The Rats
5. Alter-Nativity
6. Hysteria Ripple
7. Plague Gestation
8. Devouring Down The Spiral

Duration : Approx. 74 minutes

Visit the MurkRat bandpage.

Reviewed on 22-02-2009 by Bertrand marchal
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