Review: Mizmor ‘Wit’s End’
What makes you turn to heavy, cavernous music? I do it as sometimes my life seems trapped inside a chasm of mundanity and repetition. Loud, slow tunes can either take a sledgehammer to it or trap you as you spiral further into your mind. I’ve been in a funk and Mizmor’s Wit’s End could evaporate this bleakness or force me into buying everything on the ‘As Seen On TV’ aisle at the store? I’m not depressed, you’re depressed!
Lately, I’ve felt trapped for too long. Banging over and over forevermore does nothing. Screams go unheard. It’s like being trapped inside of a mirror.
Hearing Liam Neighbors’ Mizmor, aka מזמור, aka ‘a song set to stringed accompaniment’ for the first time hit me like a ton of bricks. The year was 2016 and the album was Yodh. At the time life seemed to be horrendous on a personal and global level. It’s not like the world could possibly get worse from there, right? Immediately after 2016, we all know it got substantially worse and the bleakness of 2019 was epitomized on Cairn… which coincidentally also sits as the crown jewel of his discography in my opinion.
Knowing this mirror can’t break. It won’t end my thoughts… although I pray for that. I’m never exhausted. I want to collapse but I can’t.
The artwork on Wit’s End, done by Justyna Koziczak, is easy to lose yourself within. Gazing into it as the record begins. All feels still until the blasphemous recording tangled around a lone guitar begin the funeral doom dirge paced Wit’s End. The artwork acts as a clear picture of a world so bleak the vibrant colors go muted. The shapes blend together like your brain can’t even begin to straighten everything out.
the blasphemous recording tangled around a lone guitar begin the funeral doom dirge paced Wit’s End…
Neighbors‘ shrieks with a pain overflowing. These shouts are impossible not to empathize with. The dissonant dance between vocals and instruments fuse together more dizzying as the track marches on. Each passing moment adds to this low-tuned mess until a limitless despair freezes you in the cold. Hopelessness floods the mind and thoughts turn to stone. It will bleed you dry but functionally sound like a hallowed husk. Scraping around in desperation and returning everything to how it was seemed impossible.
Turning my back to the cold glass feels numbing.
Pareidolia sounds like if Brian Eno scored Come And See. Its apocalyptic ambience tickles your eardrum to a somber buzz. Like searching and searching an endless wave of corridors containing monstrosities that are both familiar and foreign. Each turn is duller, and each horror is weakened. Like these sounds toughen you up making the mind better equipped to fight the world. What’s lost is truly lost. But something new has grown in its place. A warm feeling is present and engrossing.
The vibrations crack away the glass. Little by little the shards collect.
After this hellscape, I take my headphones off and the world seems a bit brighter. Neighbors screaming offers a view of the world and his ambience gives a new perspective. Wit’s End is a grotesque defeat. Pareidolia glows so cold it turns defeat to triumph. Something new grows out of the death. Something deeper will come out. The colors of the new growth are gorgeous and fascinating. And after repeated listens, the thoughts it conjured in my head still creep into my mind. I may be sipping my coffee, putting away laundry, or telling my cats they’re the prettiest cats ever, and then boom. The lingering memory shakes me to my core.
Scrape away this entrapment but you know it will return. It won’t last forever. Nothing ever does.
Label: Gilead Media
Band Links: Facebook | Bandcamp | Instagram
Scribed by: Richard Murray