For people, who think that, for some funny reason, they have lately felt a little too good and therefore urgently need something depressing, the Australian one-woman project MurkRat offers just the right thing. Mandy VKS Cattleprod and guest drummer Neil Dire deliver with their solution Drudging The Mire a gloomy but at the same time also very atmospheric album.
In, even for the standards of the genre, very minimalistic doom, the sound of MurkRat trudges very slowly into the ears. The impression of barrenness is, however, broken up by the well-directed use of different instruments (drums, bass, guitar and keyboard in different variations) and, very rarely, by a little bit more tempo. Because of those elements, the music doesn´t really sound too monotonous (many will probably disagree with me here). However, those “loosening up” bits are only meant musically because emotionally there aren´t any. One suffers the whole 72 minutes, occasionally there´s some rage and desperation thrown in, too but it´s certainly never easy for the listener. This effect is nicely carried by Mandy´s extraordinary vocals. Her voice appears majestic and suffering at the same time, angel-like and disturbing. She sings, growls, screams or her vocal lines are layered into a whole choir. All of that is a true enrichment, without which lots of MurkRat`s appeal would have simply gotten lost.
Many will be put off by the minimalism and yes, one does need lots of patience. Those who are patient enough should draw their curtains, light a candle, enjoy a glass of wine and abandon themselves to the beautiful but also depressing melancholy of Drudging The Mire.
02. I, Rodent
01. Processional: Drudging the Mire
02. I, Rodent
05. Electric Womb
06. The Mighty Spires
08. Berceuse: Slow Immersion