Band: Μνήμα Country: Greece Album: Disciples of Excremental Liturgies Label: Phantom Lure Website: Instagram It's high time we ha...

Μνήμα - Disciples of Excremental Liturgies (2022)

 Band: Μνήμα
Country: Greece
Album: Disciples of Excremental Liturgies
Label: Phantom Lure
Website: Instagram

It's high time we had a conversation about this prolific project from Athens, Greece, which I have not really talked about since their inception in 2017, despite all the mini-releases they have put out so far. Μνήμα (Greek for "tomb") fall into the category of black metal with considerable leanings towards noise and sound distortion, in the broad family of bands like Candelabrum, Black Cilice or Obskuritatem, aiming for recordings as uncomfortable and harsh as possible, and they have been doing so since their first, self-titled demo. One could think that Μνήμα didn't have the intention to release a full length, judging from the persistence on putting out demos and splits, yet it's almost after 20 mini-releases that we arrive to Disciples of Excremental Liturgies.

This record blooms on reverb, acerbity and disgust. For the untrained ear, an album like that will not survive much when it kicks in after a short instrumental introduction (this and the outro, performed by Spider God) with the enormous piece "Cosmic Lunacy", which climbs up to 12 minutes of duration. Μνήμα were never an easy listening project and the same tradition is continues with Disciples of Excremental Liturgies, yet one can identify distinct changes in the musical approach if one manages to filter out part of the noise and focuses on the compositional groundwork. From that perspective, Μνήμα's chaotic element is maintained but we are now presented with moments significantly more melodic than what they have been used to do so far, and don't let that word fool you into thinking the project has gone any softer.

Listening to Disciples of Excremental Liturgies, apart from the distinct raw black metal routines, there's a serious Finnish / Greek black metal influence on the guitar riffs of the tracks. "Cosmic Lunacy" basically fully consists of such riffs, which are usually heard with much clearer production from other bands, but the essence is reminiscent, and that's even more obvious with the opening melodies of the self-titled track. I particularly liked the dismal lines at the ending part of "Cosmic Lunacy", where Μνήμα almost hinges towards more experimental playing for a second. There are already plenty of painful fast & middle paced moments in these two tracks, establishing the band's scourging sound.

Another highlight and noticeable aspect of this work is the unmistakable vocals. While going with screeched out, tense shrieked vocals all the time, at times an echo is employed and the voice goes at even higher volumes in the mix, making it truly deafening and ugly. It gives the feel of the vocalist trying to forcefully vomit somewhere (even though if you're a fan of the band, you know where), and there's also times of semi-gargling sounds that are aimed to convey the message of hatefulness Μνήμα is full of. Of course everything is unfathomable and I have no idea of the lyrics, I think I could tell the opening of "Νεκροσάβανο" (fabric used to cover a deceased person's body in the grave), where he goes "Γιατί δε...." and then mayhem.

Regardless of the blistering cruelty in Disciples of Excremental Liturgies, I would say it's the least noisy release Μνήμα has put out so far. Melodies are distinct, some tracks are not as hard hitting as in the past (listen to Spectres of Oblivion and you'll see) but I wouldn't say it's an easy listening album by any means. Hints of melodic aptitude were present before as well, if you listen to their wonderful demo Possessed Templars, released 2 years ago, yet with the debut full length I feel like Μνήμα aim to establish an anchor to their discography as one full work to suggest to someone. Obsessed with death and the human ceremonies around them, in a vile and blasphemous manner, but really raw, Μνήμα is definitely one of the upcoming raw black metal bands to look out for. A second full length is in the works apparently, so let's see how things evolve from here.

Release date: January 15th, 2022

1. The Key of 1000 Spirits 
2. Cosmic Lunacy
3. Disciples of Excremental Liturgies
4. Νεκροσάβανο 
5. Suicidal Necromancy  
6. Abyssal Curses


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