Metal Maniac

Mur – Athabasca

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Mur is an American band created by Cameron Sarther in Minnesota in 2013. As he states that conceptually, the music on the 2013 EP Mur initially dealt with the swirling between hope and hatred in the natural realm but has gradually moved toward reveling in the spirit of specific relationships in North American ecology on the 2015 debut album Athabasca. As for the new album, Athabasca is a conceptual album about the complex ecological relationship between the Northern grey wolf (Canis lupis) and the American bison (Bison bison).  Across three ambitious tracks it ranges sonically between dense, glassy drone, found sound experimentation, titanic forest doom dirges, and lush black metal outpourings.

 

We all know that the American Metal scene is indeed rich and very varied, but from some years to now, we are being gifted with new projects from amazing artists creating unique new directions and moods, presenting us with fascinating sounds and experimentations. I don’t need to mention each one of them, as they’re getting their due deserved attention. Well, most of the time. I’ll already give my verdict when it comes to Mur in the following sentence… Mur deserves much, much more attention and recognition because what the man behind it is creating is, to my humble ears, masterpieces.

 

The new album “Athabasca” is full of emotion, real emotion, there parts of this album that really touch my soul, so to speak. It’s just exceptional, beautiful and vigorous. I must say that I was completely surprised by the quality of this work, as I always try to keep my expectations a bit low in order not to be disappointed, but, I sincerely say, this is a jewel, a hidden gem that needs to be discovered. At times, “Athabasca” is very relaxing, soothing, very atmospheric, then it gradually grows to a more aggressive, powerful sound, blending Drone, Black and Doom, resulting in an Avant-garde work of art with a Cascadian feel that is simply gorgeous.

 

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As I always like to point out, I have a preference when it comes to music that actually manages to take you into a journey and that’s what I’m always looking for, perhaps that’s the reason why I mention this quite often in this website and, with “Athabasca”, I closed my eyes and did feel like I was wandering in the woods, a stunning experience. I can not praise it enough; this is a phenomenal work that required craftsmanship from an honest artist. In fact, I was going to write about this album in a few days, but I have been listening to it for five times in a row and decided to share with you my utmost spontaneous feelings towards it. And yes, I’m listening to it again as I type this.

 

Usually, I don’t recommend one track or another, as I prefer people to listen to the entire album, as I truly believe that the whole work, when it contains, one more time, emotions, must be enjoyed as a whole, but I’ll make an exception this time, the final song, “Athabasca (A Calf Is Culled)”, contains so many incredible elements that is an outstanding introduction to Mur’s music. The acoustic Americana is delightful, bringing the calm before the storm, when the music speeds up, becomes more caustic and extreme. In fact, all songs are lengthy and epic and as I’ve already mentioned, slowly graduating from a soften start up to the “bitter end” with chaotic sounds and moods. Such an extraordinary piece of art.

 

My friends, the production is another positive aspect of “Athabasca”, making it even more enjoyable, all clean, well-balanced and recorded. I now invite you all to check this album, you can do it legally at the band’s official Bandcamp page and please, if you happen to enjoy the uniqueness of  Athabasca, I urge you all to support and promote Mur in any way that is possible for it. I profoundly believe that this artist deserves our full help.

 

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Until next time.

 

Grade: 10/10

 

Band: Mur

 

Album: Athabasca (2015)

 

Label: Independent

 

Tracklist:

 

  1. Ungulate Flesh & Blood (Stirring In The Herd
  2. Dragged Across The Forest God’s Teeth
  3. Athabasca (A Calf Is Culled)

 

Mur is:

 

Cam Sather – All instrumentation

 

Official Bandcamp: https://murmn.bandcamp.com

 

Official Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/murminnesota

 

All photos belong to their rightful owners.

May 7, 2015

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