Band: Et Moriemur
Album: Tamashii no Yama
Label: Transcending Obscurity Records
Release Date: April 8th, 2022
For Fans Of: Messa, My Dying Bride, Paradise Lost
Et Moriemur are a Czech atmospheric doom metal band, releasing their fourth full-length Tamashii no Yama. They play a very soft, contemplative form of death/doom with the emphasis on the doom half. Tamashii no Yama additionally features an increased focus on “Japanese themes,” which ends up mostly coming through as the use of alternate scales and some Shakuhachi guest appearances.
Tamashii no Yama starts with a soft keyboard solo that primes the listener for the rest of the record. These first moments are soft, introspective, and warm. And that warmth never goes away through all of the different places that Et Moriemur bring you. It took me a few listens to adjust to their style, but it proved worth the effort. The band’s honest sound and unusually welcoming atmosphere will attract most of Et Moriemur’s fans.
For an atmospheric record, Tamashii no Yama has some great melodies. The opening melody on “Oshima” is one good example of this. Et Moriemur try to have it all: They maintain their atmosphere through these strong melodic lines, they have warm and relaxed death metal passages, and they have doom metal tracks that feel brief almost to a fault. They use their strong songwriting ability to create moments that otherwise wouldn’t have worked. The end of “Izu” lingered one for several moments longer than I thought it should have, but somehow it feels like the natural conclusion of a solid song, letting the noise gradually and calmly wind down to zero. The final third of “Takamagahara” contains a fake ending before finally concluding, which didn’t bother me as much on a fourteen minute track as it could have.
Some elements of the band’s sound didn’t quite fit together. The vocalist is obviously quite talented, but I didn’t think his primary growling style fit Tamashii no Yama at all. The whispers, spoken sections, and whispered growls all sounded fine, but from the beginning the louder vocals distract and take me out of the music. The guitars and drums also suffer from some problems as well. Both end up occasionally lost in the mix. And although I generally enjoy the keyboard, sometimes the tone sounds too artificial for this record.
Et Moriemur’s songwriting is generally a strength, but there are some issues on Tamashii no Yama that I expect will be improved on future releases. The introduction of the shakuhachi, cello, viola, and harp is a wasted opportunity. Sometimes these instruments worked well, but often they just served as unnecessary flavor rather than fully-integrated elements of the record. Et Moriemur had an opportunity for something unique. Instead we just got vaguely interesting moments with no purpose other than just to exist.
The promotional material states that “(Tamashii no Yama) makes you experience various moods and sounds.” This is so far from the truth I wonder if they meant that to apply to a different record. Songs blend together and stay in the same comfortable space throughout Tamashii no Yama. And that’s fine as long as the melodies and the atmosphere are effective, but gets tiring as the last couple of tracks continue to tread on.
Tamashii no Yama is an authentic and powerful experience with some unfortunate drawbacks. The melodies and atmosphere were great, but I wish the band would clear up some of the minor moments and take some larger risks. They sound like they could pull them off. I’d recommend this to anyone who’s looking for more relaxed or introspective metal. People coming for the death/doom tag may just end up confused and dismayed. Although I didn’t love Tamashii no Yama, Et Moriemur has enough talent to be worth keeping an eye on in the future.
Total Playing Time: 40:08