Manon Meurt, the Czech quartet hailing from Rakovnik, central Bohemia, returns after a long hiatus with a the new single, titled “Mirrors”, to foresee the forthcoming sophomore album scheduled for April 2014, via fellow label Minority Records, promising unexpected forays into genre-bending territories with a darker, more experimental and torturous sound, certainly different and less immediate from the early 90s-tinged noisy Shoegaze of the eponymous debut EP in 2014 and from the more ethereal and introspective, yet not without loud tension, leanings of the renowned first full-length album, “MMXVIII”, developed under the production wings of Jan P. Muchow, founder of local indie legends The Ecstasy of St. Theresa.
The band, made of singer, multi-instrumentalist and lyricist Kateřina Elznicová and keyboardist David Tichy, drummer Jiří Bendl and guitarist Kryštof Korčák, is this time produced by the British keyboardist, composer, and arranger Eddie Stevens, known for his collaborations with Moloko, Róisín Murphy, Freakpower (with Norman Cook), Zero 7 and his partner Jana Kirschner, whose personality is clearly felt, moving the focus on the rhythmic parts, no longer fluid and linear with sound processing fragmented and juxtaposed, resulting at the same time harmonic and discordant, whilst, devoid of riffs, the guitars rather weave reverbs and lonesome resonances, to create swelling and churning sonic textures, underlying languorous and vulnerable bewitching Kateřina vocal delivery.
Likened to obscure, reflective, and mesmeric drone-doom-folk-gothic aesthetics of Sacramento songstress Chelsea Wolfe, to which I would add to, with all due regard, the transfixing vocal-centered Jarboe/Skin 80s solo venture, the less than seven minutes long track, shrouded in spectral and esoteric auras imbued with an arcane charm, scatters through abrupt, splintered dull percussions, and sparse resonant thumping beats, to lumber on the backdrop of ceaselessly droning organ overtones, hissing frequencies, and eerie desolate strident and twinkly guitar echoes, underpinning the deep vulnerable sense of sadness and pain snaking beneath layers of evocative vocals, blending heartfelt quivering cries with sad hypnotic spoken words and secret fragile whispers, to capture the in-between calm moment just before dawn, when the moon and sun exchange watch, hoping to reveal inside oneself by looking into the “Mirror” of the other.
The band’s bold and challenging evolution, certainly more complex and less immediate, could alienate a base of followers stuck towards familiar Shoegaze sounds, but the band seems to have reached the right maturity and determination, as well as constantly demonstrated live, to come out of it enriched on every respect.
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