CB Murdoc was formed in 2006 from the disbanded black metal band Mörk Gryning. Changing style drastically to that of a progressive and technical death metal monster, the band is reportedly an outlet for the long winter months of Scandinavia. Cabin fever in musical form. If this is what it sounds like inside of the minds of the songwriters, I don't think I want to share a room with the guys come December. The band has previously released an album called The Green along with some EPs, but now it's time to unleash the latest and greatest: Here Be Dragons,
I'm not sure if I am nailing down the album titel's reference or not, but I can't help but think of Billy Bob Thornton's excellent (and spine-tingling) monologue in the first season of Fargo:
If you didn't have time for the clip, the gist of it is that the phrase is a warning that sometimes you should just turn around and go back the way you came. If I'm on the right track, great choice. Here Be Dragons is filled with mind-bending extreme music that is not for the faint of heart. Like the creatures themselves, these tracks smell of brimstone and twist their scaled bodies through the darkness. And at the first opportunity, they will burn your sorry ass to the ground.
Speaking of flames, "Brood and Roaring Fires" is an astounding feat of musicianship. The production perfectly emphasizes every tinny stirke of the snare as it changes time. Guitars spiral through various acrobatics of tapping, screeching, and djenting. Oh yeah, and on that last made up word, there is certainly some Meshuggah influence to the music as well. The weird rhythms, syncopated shifts in signature, and even some of the guitar riffs and vocals are all right out of the fellow Swedes' wheelhouse. Other fast favorite "Dither" sounds like it could have been included on Koloss.
But CB Murdoc are no imitators. They have a style all their own, merely appropriating the best techniques to include in their own twisted compositions. "Nonplus Ultra" may start off like a cover of "Concatenation," but there are so many movements across the couirse of these four and a half minutes that it would be foolish to simplify such a masterpiece. BC Murdoc is one second a technical powerhouse, the next a melodic mood machine. And when all goes quiet, you can never be sure that the track is truly over. They may just be forming a flank. Stream HERE is the embed is being stubborn.
So this Friday, vote yes for Here Be Dragons. It's hard to know where the wind is blowing in this reality show we call politics during election year, but this album is one thing you can call a sure thing. CB Murdoc are making one promise: to give you possibly the most enjoyable and technically proficient album of 2016. You will not be disapointed. 6/24. Bere there.