|Review: Brulvahnatu - Last Living Dream|
|Last Living Dream|
Label: Eternal Obscurity Records
Year released: 2010
Genre: Black Metal
Review online: August 10, 2020
Reviewed by: Mjölnir
for:Last Living Dream
Rated 3.67/5 (73.33%) (3 Votes)
Second album from the illusive Brulvahnatu, a band so obscure I wasn't even confident that this was actually their second full-length until I read the thank yous. Released a scant 8 months after Uterine Acid Swishes, I was expecting this to work in a similar vein chaotic and experimental Black Metal, and I was correct. What I wasn't expecting was for it to be just as good in a slightly different way.
If you somehow heard the last album, then there's a lot that will be familiar here: long, looonnnggg songs filled with winding structures whose depth is initially obscured by the violent drumming and jagged, venomous guitar work that wrings out some haunting leads from time to time, all of which is backed by the guttural roars and piercing shrieks of sole member Kib Sreng. The main difference here is the atmosphere, which is more expansive and not as depressive or claustrophobic as their debut. This is best exemplified in the colossal 26-minute opener "Misshapen White Hand", which starts off with an eerie piano interlude occasionally interrupted by acoustic twanging before breaking into bashing drums and rumbling tremolo riffs, and it's able to keep up the momentum through the entire length thanks to subtle time changes and excellent guitar work. The next two songs can't quite match it, but they're both engaging and occasionally frightening nonetheless. Lyrically, this appears to be a concept album giving a murky retelling of a nightmarish journey through the afterlife, here depicted through wintery forests and derelict swamps filled with otherworldly horrors, all of which is depicted in the booklet with horrific sketches that almost look like they'd be at home on the walls of an abandoned asylum.
Overall, this is a more than worthy follow-up to Uterine Acid Swishes. There isn't anything on here as good as "Suffer Long" or "Swindler's Ride Down the Mountain", but it is more consistent than either album. At only 300 copies, this is even harder to find than the other two albums, but it's worth the effort to track down.
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