Rorcal – Muladona

Rating: 3/5
Distributor/label: https://hummusrecords.bandcamp.com
Released: 2019
Buy Album: https://rorcal.bandcamp.com/album/muladona-2
Band Website: https://www.facebook.com/Rorcal/

Band line-up:

Yonni, Diogo, JP, Ron

Tracklisting:

1. This is how I came to associate drowning with tenderness
2. She drained you of your innocence and you poisoned her with it
3. I’d done my duty to my mother and father. And more than that I’d found love
4. A sea of false smiles hiding murder jealousy and revenge
5. Carnation were not the smell of death. They were the smell of desire
6. The only constant in this world is blackness of the human heart
7. I was the Muladona’s seventh tale

Review:

Rorcal are a Swiss, five-piece black metal band with drone and doom influences, who are on Hummus Records. The aim of the ensemble has always been obvious: To reach the deepest depths of darkness and to express what can’t be named. Rorcal have once again achieved their goal. Their fifth album ‘Muladona’ was released on 8th November 2019, and is based on the novel of the same name by writer Eric Stener Carlson. The author’s voice features on much of the release, telling the morbid tale. 

This band certainly knows how to build up tension without coming across as over-complicated and pretentious. Rather than them making use of unnecessarilly bizarre time signatures and pointlessly advanced musicianship, they change tempo and chords at just the right moment. That may sound primitive to you, but that’s the point and most importantly, it works. Horror is an emotion that is easily described and it’s fitting that the music is also plain and simple. (Relatively).

The range of tempos and the way they suddenly change only makes the music more panicky. Like true, horrifying situations, you never know what to expect, you just know it certainly won’t be any fun. The way calm narration is combined with furious extreme metal backing gives a sense that the horror has gone on for so long, the mind has got used to it, and that only makes the vibes more disturbing. But in a very satisfying way, of course. 

The harmony used is sometimes pretty standard in that you can expect a mix of power chords and evil dissonant ideas. However, often the harmony is unusually thick with very strange note combinations going on. A black metal wall of sound is a rather interesting idea and the way it contrasts with (relatively) lighter instrumentation is quite effective. If anything, the album could do with more simplicity, but many would disagree.

In conclusion, this is adventurous stuff in many ways, but one wonders if the cliched, screaming vocals and blast beats are really necessary. They have been (arguably way too) popular since the 80s! Of course if you like black metal you will probably want to hear the just mentioned, but do they have to be so dominating? Give this album a try, but don’t expect a revolutionary masterpiece in that respect.

Review by Simon Wiedemann
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