Published on Thursday, 05 May 2016 21:01
Album title: Orphans Of The Black Sun
Release date: 22 April 2016
Label: Sundust Records
01. Lesbians Whores And Witches
02. Black Dog
03. My War
04. Heirs Of Doom
05. Ghost Army
06. Mother Black Sun
Truly insane, wicked, haunting and absolutely unique is the debut album of French act Mütterlein. The band is conducted by vocalist, songwriter, composer and performer Marion Leclercq, joined by multi-instrumentalist Christophe Chavanon, and the two describe their musical output as witch wave. I don't know how else should I label this music and if they are ok with it so am I. This is unique music, that is also highly emotional and dark, but still, Orphans Of The Black Sun is above all a standout album, a genre defining one, transcending the borders of dark wave, apocalyptic folk, ambient and dark rock, it offers an unique experience. Mütterlein on their debut album presents six tracks clocking in around 35 minutes, but what minutes those are, there's not a single moment where the intensity is lacked, nor there's a part without emotional outpours, even if at moments it might sound a bit minimalistic, there's no single moment without being thrown into some kind of a bewitching magical world.
Orphans Of The Black Sun is not an easy album, at least after a first couple of listens it might be even disturbing, but the whole thing might drastically change if you immerse yourself a bit more into this musical creation. It's an album that needs listeners devotion and only then it starts to unveil all of its beauty and all wicked details that lay hidden inside. With strong lyrical messages, often weaving fascinating stories of damaged lives, deep neuroses and insanity, this album is so very intense, yet emotionally charged and bleak that is almost frustrating. Marion's voice is a proper source of damaged, yet abstract startling of expressiveness that provokes fear and traumas. Sometimes it feels like hearing a dying schizophrenic person in pain, and sometimes she sounds like a witch taken into the stake to be burned, but sometimes also so very fragile that you must almost feel kind of a compassion. There is anger, rage, but also despair and broken hope. There's no light in hypnotic Mütterlein's sound, everything is murky, based on gloomy church organ, pounding ritualistic percussions, punishing apocalyptic beats, echoing basses, corrosive guitar lines and dreadfull synths that cut very deep into listeners soul. Everything just to build a chilling sonic environment that invokes many abstract controversities and dreadful emotions. It's like being trapped in a nightmare, especially when the intense and epic compositions like is "Black Dog" or claustrophobic "Heirs Of Doom" build up so smoothly in ambiance. Orphans Of The Black Sun is so very dramatic, almost an appropriate musical score for your worst and sickest nightmare. It's not strange that some of you might recall in your mind the darkest and most haunting works of Diamanda Galás, but also the names like Jarboe and Chelsea Wolfe can come in mind here and there, but not to be compared that much musically, more like in a way of creating similar feelings with their soundscapes.
Everything is well connected and the album works out best if heard as an entirety, but still, when Marion puts all of her being into the frantic "My War" you'll remain speechless, believe me, such a powerful virulent drama built upon hatred, pain and fear that it's impossible to remain carefree and calm. The closing one, "Mother Black Sun", brings some sort of serenity, fragility and strange comfort mixed with a huge dose of melancholy after all, but even here the suspense and void is iminent. With Mütterlein's sound we are like being trapped in some sort of underground world or dungeon. This is an opus that conveys sadness and anguish of being, as beautiful as the biting cold of winter, yet as gloomy as a funeral of a loved one. It's all in one - sadistic, dreadful and mesmerizing!
Review written by: T.V.