Wit's End EP

Written by: AP on 24/07/2022 20:24:40

In spite of being recent offerings, 2016’s “Yodh” and 2019’s “Cairn” by Mizmor (which is Hebrew for a type of psalm) are already in a high regard by connoisseurs of underground metal. The self-proclaimed wholly doomed black metal artist was also invited to perform both of the albums in full at the 2016 and 2022 editions of the iconic Roadburn festival, earning the man behind the moniker — Liam ‘A.L.N.’ Neighbors — a loyal following amongst some of the most demanding listeners in existence. And after watching the premiere of its title track at the Roadburn Redux online streaming event in 2021, there was thus no way I was going to let Mizmor’s latest EP “Wit’s End” slip by unnoticed when it dropped earlier this year.

The eponymous “Wit’s End” is a piece inspired by the proliferation of disinformation, cultism and conspiracy theories, evoking an unsettling world of half-truths into which part of our societies have collapsed into in recent years. As such, it is unsurprising that the song is ridden with an exhausted and at times scathing tone that manifests itself first through gentle strokes of clean guitar mingling with a scratchy recording of a man schizophrenically railing against god and religion, and science and truth at the same time, and later through lumbering drums, crushing, distorted riffs and raspy growls that sound like the last breaths of a dying man. It is a suffocating track that slowly ascend toward a towering crescendo, as Neighbors rips out a searing tremolo lead against a backdrop of apocalyptically crashing cymbals, until the maelstrom of noise eventually implodes and reverts the song back to its minimalistic, post-rock style beginnings. Having been written and recored during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic from isolation (something Neighbors is used to doing in any case), it plays like the diary of someone watching in disbelief as the very fabric of society unravels before his eyes; a movement from quiet dread, through flagrant anger and frustration, to eventual resignation and desolation that it brings.

The second half of the EP consists of something entirely different: “Pareidolia”, which seems like an extension of Mizmor’s collaboration with the experimental and ambient musician Andrew Black on last year’s “Dialetheia”. And honestly, outside the context of, say, an audiovisual art installation, it is more meandering than intriguing, enveloping the listener in a cavernous and at times churchly humming noise, with distant voices and various electronic effects occasionally bleeding through. It feels pretty disconnected from the title track and leaves me wondering whether it might not have been better to simply issue “Wit’s End” as a standalone single? In any case, fans of Mizmor will be delighted by the atmospheric, emotive, and heavy title track, which slots in nicely with the rest of this visionary artist’s EP- and split-heavy repertoire.


Download: Wit’s End
For the fans of: Bell Witch, Hell, Thou, Yith
Listen: Facebook

Release date 14.01.2022
Gilead Media

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