I remember seeing Munt play live somewhere and being blown away by the sheer ferocity of their music and performance, but I also remember questioning whether their music would have the same effect on me in the recorded medium.
Well, now’s my chance to find out as I sit down to review their new EP Pain Ouroboros which is due out on March 3.
The press release informs me that Pain Ouroboros “leans further into infusing death metal into an already vicious experience… and while fast paced destruction will always dominate the landscape, there is still room for the slow-paced crushing doom of a tar-coated sludge riff,” which sounds delightful so let’s just hit play and see for ourselves shall we?
Children Of Delirium opens the EP amid a swirl of spiraling noises that give way to a demonic presence spewing forth a tirade of destruction led into battle by some of the fast drumming I have ever heard. It is a violent cavalcade of intensity that seems to fold back into itself repeatedly before resurfacing with even more venomous intent.
Vocalist Mothlord is seething at something and isn’t afraid to unleash with all of his fury and fuck me is it intense!
I can’t understand anything he is enforcing but it’s pretty obvious that he has much to say and not enough patience to spell it out.
Then, quicker than the storm clouds gathered, the track is finished, and I find myself questioning if I have the stamina or mental fortitude to continue.
Lead single The Vengeful March is next, which once more launches straight at the jugular.
But I guess with only five songs on the EP Munt aren’t prepared to waste time on foreplay.
Sol and fellow axe grinder Spud play off each other with reckless abandon, screeching and squealing their instruments in a raging fury that only seems to set drummer Jared ablaze as he frantically beats his kit to the brink of death on countless occasions before bludgeoning it back to life with another explosive drum fill that almost defies the laws of physics.
Finishing with some opposition and growls from some outcast demonic spirits, The Vengeful March reverberates to an eerie demise before Zero Sum picks up the attack.
This one starts more industrial before Jared gets his menace back on and leads Mothlord into another sonic battle of aggression that is ably matched by the entire rhythm section.
Munt somehow manages to harness the most extreme elements of grindcore, black metal, death metal and sludge metal into a devastating pool of aggression that crushes the very fabric of metal itself, and for that they must be respected.
Communion Of Thorns doesn’t sound like an enticing dinner invitation and from the moment the stuttering guitar riff bounces from the speakers it is abundantly clear this particular Communion is for those invited only.
Delivered with the subtlety of a wrecking ball and the precision of a surgeons blade, Communion Of Thorns is not as fast-paced as the rest of the EP – until it is! All of a sudden what seemed to be a more measured and deliberate track has exploded into sonic destruction at a speed that almost borders on faster than the proverbial speed of light.
I’m not kidding.
Another industrial-tinged musical piece fades Communion Of Thorns into a foreboding and menacing conclusion and even though I am thoroughly enjoying the EP so far I also find myself a touch relieved it is drawing to a close before my peaceful existence comes crashing down around me.
Apostate Sermon has the honour of closing the gates of Hell and does so in no uncertain fashion.
If I thought Jared has kicked the fuck out of his drums earlier, he tells me in no uncertain terms that he has plenty more to offer before the guitars fire to life once more and Mothlord continues his running battle with an unseen foe.
As this EP moves from track to track I find myself identifying more with the intricacies of Munt’s music and my knowledge of their musical intent grows more to a level of respectful fear than confused delusion.
Pain Ouroboros is certainly not an EP for the squeamish – but I doubt that was ever Munt’s intention.
What it is, is a damn fine collection of tunes from a band who continue to not only push the boundaries of extreme metal, but also manage to somehow discover new and exciting pockets to explore.
Now this, I have to see live!