Friday, 9 March 2018

Review: Choral Hearse - Mire Exhumed

Screeching into life with the sound of static and feedback, Mire Exhumed throws us into a sultry and seductive mix of rumbling, pulsing bass and Liaam Iman’s haunting vocals. The opening number, “Chronic Departure,” is a wailed, howled, and breathed throughout the song, as Iman throws her voice across every conceivable spectrum of her vocal range, from spectral high pitches to husky spoken word passages, whispered to the listener across the lo-fi fuzz of distorted guitar and crashing cymbals. Whilst retaining the same fury as this entry track, the tumultuous track,“Confession”, adds in the massive pace change of noir-folk amidst the vocals before lurching into a similar, aggressive gallop.

Broadly labelled as “experimental”  you will hear a massive range of influences across Mire Exhumed. It is here, you can note the change from dark and atmospheric metal to the heavy and almost indie rock nature.

Taking an influence that borders on the experimental, the haunting and ethereal vocal range that Iman can command is weaved into a rhythm section-led track in the form of “Distorted Perception” and soon after, the haunting track, “Engulfed”. It enters the soundscape like a B-side, only with a darker and more nuanced approach.

Although spoilt for choice, this reviewer’s favourite track of the album comes in the form of “Elucidated”. The song is a sultry swell of bass and distortion with a repetitive and pulsing drumline, only broken by a relatively unaltered set of vocals and enhanced by subtle and welcome changes in pace as the song builds to its end.

Towards the end of the album we are met with two more minimalist tracks,“A Hideous Revelation” and “Mutation”. They lean towards a dark, atmospheric flavour and focus on the vocals being placed at the fore of the production. From the complexity of some of the previous songs, it’s a welcome change to begin the end of the album.

As eerie and strange as the album can be at points, it’s still not a bad thing, and as much as I’m bound to by the virtue of reviewing, I cannot fault Mire Exhumed. Its production value is nearly flawless and Choral Hearse’s approach to music is, despite heavy influence, so unique as to nearly form her own sub-genre. Simply put, you need this album in your life.

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