Mudbath – Red Desert Orgy (2012)

The Cover?

This cover furiously shriek out the words of: Autumn! One of my favorite times of the year, when the leaves are falling and the weather is a little bit dimmer. A great contrast in between Winter and Summer. Also a pretty innovative cover, but then again; these guys are serious metal-heads. I think they add up the dimension that seems to be lacking in the mass-produced phony metal of today. This phenomena is often seen in the more sophisticated genres, if I may say so. I think the influences of sludge, gloom and doom are obvious. But so are the more stoner-ish and black metal ones, with the inverted cross and all.

Well, good for me that it’s almost Autumn and the end of Summer, maybe this’ll be the ideal time to listen through it and glance at the cover? Even though I don’t really know if there’s any symbolism more than in the cross turned upside down. It seems like the tree have gained some octopus-like arms that are trying to linger their way into the middle of the picture. It’s also very nice that the main focus is their band-name, which when you focus on it give the more red and orange-ish colors a burst of flavor. As in: colorful flavor. Even though I don’t really like the drawn letters that much, they’re a contrast to the more detailed outskirts of the cover and the more subversive tone of colors that will seduce you the minute you know what it’s all about.

The Songs?

Loserwood (6:14)

This EP or what ever you’d call it contains three songs, let’s start off with the first one titled Loserwood. Which starts off in a blackened way, to say the least. Somewhat reminding me of  black metal in one way and another. Making itself upward towards the more doom sounding gloom that surround the soundscape with its thorns in the sides. Pacing slowly towards an escalation, when the singer makes his obvious entrance into the mix. A good pair of vocals making each second more bearable, adding up to the more slow-paced rhythmic of guitar and drums. The overt sound of the crash isn’t anything special, but it chimes in as if it’s the end of times. Reminding me why the title becomes important, it sounds like someone walking in shame and holding their head in despair, after taking too many pills.

Still awake, moving slowly through the forest trying to pave the way into sanity again. Once in a while this projected picture gets a little bit more distorted, thanks to the cadence of the drumming. The almost rock-sounding solo of guitars come sweeping like a fresh breeze, since I despise the slow pace of the influencing doom and gloom. But as my ears start to enjoy the nice melody of it, within almost twenty seconds of an unbreakable bubble – the sickly sounding vocalist re-enters the picture and make the crispier and more polished guitars fade into a secondary stance, making them the bearers of the sound-scape but in a more subliminal sense. I wouldn’t say that it’s a bad song, I’d just say that it sometimes isn’t my cup of tea.

Sure, if I’d ever be in a normal state of non-fatigue, I could probably enjoy this much more. However, the sound-scape is what it should be – not too well-polished and dirty as hell. Surely something you’d expect, but I didn’t expect how well it flowed together in between the different structures of the song. From passage to passage, a minor seed of excellence and a handful of great potential. They didn’t build Rome overnight, but Mudbath surely managed to build this up in a fine way. A good starter track which makes me expect even more of the second song, so let’s hop on and see if it’s going to be disappointing or not.

Mudjahideen (7:19)

A playful throw-around of words, replace it with Mud instead – instant success. This track is titled Mudjahideen, which made me crack up a little bit. This one really doesn’t play around with the black-metal introductory, instead they make good use of the sludge-elements and freaky guitars. The song is also longer in many ways, more extended and filled to the brink of the melancholic gloomy sound. But at least they never give up hoping for another way out, they continue bursting into mindless ramblings – whereas the singer utilizes another part of his vocal-range. Combining the two, almost making the first vocal effort his companion, putting him in the background to help him bear up the other sphere of his vocals.

Which is a good thought, it gives into the fact that I was looking for a more varied song, and even though the sound-scape doesn’t change very much – the singing definitely does. Oh, let me take that back actually, a bit further into the song they actually reveal where the term hardcore originated from in their description. It’s pretty rich with minor breakdowns and a major one complementing the sludgy-feeling of it as a whole. Even though I wouldn’t dismiss the doom and gloom of it either, which makes up a lot of the sound scape to be frank. Even further in, they diminish the earlier elements and make for a solo-ish black metal-influenced sludgy part that actually gives me feeling for the song. Transporting me into a faster-paced tempo which really matched the singer’s firstly demonstrated raspy and shrieky vocals.

Maybe a little bit more daring, but actually something displaying everything this band is about. A transgression in between genres and maybe even into realms not discovered before. I always enjoy a multitude of experiences introduced to me by a single song, somewhat like 3D would be when replacing 2D. Not that 2D can’t be good, but just that 3D adds that extra something. Spicing up the clash of genres, but also making sure to place itself within one or two to keep it worth listening to. A very good effort so far and I’m really hoping that the last track won’t disappoint me either, because this one certainly didn’t. It reinforced my hopes and put out a last spiritually and fatiguing experience of total apathy and a war between staying sane and conforming to insanity.

Smells Like Teen Cunt (8:21)

It gets even better, at least with the titles. I don’t know how they came up wit this one, but would I really want to know? Hm, well, it’s titled: Smells Like Teen Cunt. I guess our heroes went out on a prowl for the promiscuous. Well, let’s not hang onto that subject for too long, I bet there’s a perfectly logical explanation. However, I’ve kind of noticed how every song gets about a minute longer. Probably something symbolical which I could elaborate further, but I insist on analyzing the song instead. The intro reeks of something that’s only been obvious to me if I listened carefully, but it was drowned out by the bigger sound-scape. A more lo-fi sounding introductory surely sweeps my mind again making me think it’s a new way of introducing songs.

Which would probably be right, now they’ve actually managed to plug in the lo-fi element into it also. They’ve also used a little bit more of chugging guitars in this one too, and a bit of drawn out doom-sounding riffing that is fantastic. A pulsating beat of distortion shower my ears throughout the beginning of the song, which is dipped into an even more sinister black-metal turmoil that leaves me alone to fistfight with my brain and ears – like; who get’s the final say? It feels as if I’m drying out, as if a waddling desert came around and put sand in my face and drowned out the rest of me. Not technically in water, but in muddy and greasy sand that soaks up the last piece of life-loving that I have inside of me.

But as a compliment, the re-introduced rock-riffing and minor solo-ing that’s going on later in the song would be me fighting against my destiny. I don’t really know if it could go any slower, but the way the black-metal punches sludge right in the face by trying to occupy his territory – is surely amazing to say the least. There’s actually so much going on now, that I’ve lost the pace. Even though the song is pretty slow throughout and not many tempo-changes make themselves noticed. By this time, I fell asleep with the sinister sound in my ears. I actually did for real, which left a pretty nonsensical analysis of the end in my sleepyhead.

Fortunately, I woke up again by the end of the song and can now state a fact: this is pretty damn addicting, the end of it is also a craftsmanship that shouldn’t be underestimated. As if I’d been swept away within a sandstorm of the most elegant yet wicked sounds of the world. Throwing me around in a loop, chewing me up and then spitting me back up again – just for the sake of it, for apathy and melancholia alike. Even though this is too slow for me, I’m entranced by it to some degree. Be it the sublime elements that make a synchronized move and take over the scene, or the addiction of it all – I’ve left the barricades, to check out dangerously addictive slow-paced and genre-crossing metal. If that’s how it’s going to be, then so be it. Thank you Mudbath for the thrill and everything else on the menu.

My final verdict is: 8/10!

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