Mesmur, Chthonic (Aesthetic Death 2023)

The latest funeral doom journey from Mesmur is Chthonic.

The bleak narrative of Mesmur began just over ten years ago. Started as a side project, it is an entity that hosts an international cast of musicians and has produced three previous albums. Mesmur is Jeremy Lewis (guitar, synth), Michele Mura (bass), John Devos (drums), and Chris G (vocals). The recording also features viola and cello performances from Brianne Vieira and a guest organ spot from Kostas Panagiotou of UK funeral doom band Pantheist.

There are three primary tracks and a coda to the new set. “Chthonic (Prelude)” is a short, somber intro piece leading to “Refraction,” a ten minute reflection on tense, dark times. The funeral doom pace is set in stone. Steady, sure-footed percussion and harmonics glide over the uneven ground. The vocals are drawn out croaks, eerily melodic. The music fades in and out of deeper layers of mystery. “Petroglyph” can be seen as a companion piece, in a way. Trudging on a little longer than its predecessor, it continues, at first, along the same yaw. The music becomes more active and, I would say, more threatening – or perhaps it is a warning, indelibly placed. At the same time, the music is exquisitely beautiful across the middle arc. The ending turns deeply creepy.

The centerpiece of the album is “Passage,” running at nineteen minutes in length and covering time and space methodically. It is an immersion and, to get the most out of it, I suggest you approach it that way. Lie down, close your eyes, and think of nothing other than the music you are hearing. You will feel things; it will do things to you. The last track is “Chthonic,” and it is described as a coda, which it is – separate yet essential. My bleary ears might never be the same. Recommended.

Chthonic is out on Friday, April 14th on CD through Aesthetic Death. You can get it digitally at Bandcamp or through your favorite dispenser.




Aesthetic Death,

© Wayne Edwards

Mesmur, Chthonic (Aesthetic Death 2023)