Mesmur is a sort of symphonic doom/death project, which utilizes some elements of electronic music within it's forlorn compositions. This act is formed from members of Dalla Nebbia, but it's definitely a different can of beans as far as I'm concerned. The most interesting thing for me here was how much electronic influence was sampled right at the very beginning of the disc, but after that it really starts to plod. Plodding is quite normal for doom/death in the My Dying Bride, November's Doom and Saturnus style (among others) but at least these guys round it out with strong, memorable lead melodies. These leads help to accentuate the piece, making it far easier to feel as an atmosphere and not just a bunch of slow doom riffs. There are ten and twenty bands that utilize that style, and even we're guilty of it at times – but that's why I feel it is essential to achieve more than everyone else. Aside from the metallic side of things, the vocal end is still very powerful and heavily memorable. If you remember what I said about Dalla Nebbia, the same can be said for Mesmur, where there is a definite focus on the deep growls, yet there's a bit more passion behind them. It very much sounds like classic doom/death, but with an added aspect in once again, the electronics. Yes, I know that electronics in such music are sometimes seen as a detriment, but here is where they deliver. Mesmur are definitely symphonic and these songs rely as heavily on synthscapes as they do on dreary, melodic riff melodies. As you can start to imagine, these synths eventually move into a sort of wave, which takes over the sound completely and makes it something new. The final cut on the disc, “Osmosis” seems to deliver this the best, as it sounds like “doom in space” and really resonates with me. While the band are still playing a very staple style as far as doom and death have been concerned, with this added synth element, it almost feels as if the band are hurtling through the stars, with the bass thumps on the record being likened to the pounding of asteroids on nearby planets. It's all very fascinating and like very few other acts out there is the genre, Mesmur is giving doom a facelift.
When Pallbearer came out of Arkansas with a sound in doom that no one's ever heard before, doom purists were quick to tear it apart. They called it everything from “hipster doom” to “poser doom” to whatever else they could utilize in an attempt to demonize something different. But the problem was, Pallbearer was actually a terrific doom act. It wouldn't have mattered how much the small community of doom elitists condemned the record, it was receiving a lot of praise and publicity. Mesmur are in that same boat, but the metalllions at large haven't really heard them yet. So I don't know how that small circle-jerk of doom elitists will actually respond to these guys. At any rate, this self-titled release is a good place to start for these guys and I'm sure that things will only receive more definition and clarity in the future, as they discover what kind of band they really want to be. I still feel that it needs a bit of work, but I feel that it will definitely be a built-upon approach. Even so, I'd still recommend it, but more to fans of the doom/death style than anyone else. Even the doom/deathers might not get it so much, so it is a tough little classification. But there's still no doubt in my mind that Mesmur are delivering just the kind of doom/death that we need right now.
(5 Tracks, 58:00)