Band: Lamp Of Murmuur
Album: Saturnian Bloodstorm
Label: Argento Records
Genre: Black Metal
Release Date: March 26th, 2023
For Fans Of: Immortal, Dawn, Enslaved
Lamp Of Murmuur have lit the underground on fire for the past few years. They released a series of demos before exploding in 2020 with their heralded debut, Heir Of Ecliptical Romanticism, which I still haven’t heard a single negative word about. From their, the one-person band continued a path of destruction through the heart of black metal with a couple of splits, an EP, and another less remarkable full-length, and are now ready to present their third full-length, Saturnian Bloodstorm.
Lamp Of Murmuur plays pure second wave black metal worship. There is somehow negative experimentation on this record. But what they do, they do with precision and style. Saturnian Bloodstorm presents a specific musical vision with intention, rather than just aping the past for the sake of being safe. While I don’t agree with every creative choice the band made, I can respect the singular and uncompromising focus.
Saturnian Bloodstorm’s riffs remain what this band has always done: Fast, interesting, and varied. Even the quieter, ethereal passages contain constant motion. Even when the drums mostly drop out, they still provide some forward feeling with the sparse notes that they do have, such as near the end of “Seal Of The Dominator.” This sense of motion keeps Saturnian Bloodstorm from stagnating, and allows the band to explore a more focused space without becoming boring. Lamp Of Murmuur doesn’t use particularly special song structures, but what is written works well enough as a riff conveyance system that nobody will ever care if some parts of the record sound a bit formulaic.
The production sounds ancient without sounding bad. Lamp Of Murmuur threads the needle between maintaining an unburied atmosphere they want while keeping the music clear enough to stay out of the realm of raw black metal. The tone of the guitars feels downright warm and full for this style, and the album as a whole sounds lovingly crafted. This being said, this is still a black metal record. The album can be a bit crispy at times, so anyone who doesn’t regularly listen to black metal may take a moment to adjust to the production on Saturnian Bloodstorm.
I don’t have as much desire to return to this album as I do for Heir Of Ecliptical Romanticism. On the other hand, I have already listened to this more than Submission & Slavery. If Lamp Of Murmuur didn’t release so many EPs and splits in between their full-length releases, I’d call this a bit of a comeback record. Heir Of Ecliptical Romanticism is a better starting point if you’re new to this band. And if you’re not new to this band, Heir Of Ecliptical Romanticism is a better returning point as well.
Additionally, Lamp Of Murmuur don’t seem to have an unlimited runway ahead of them. They play a style that crystallized decades ago and seem to be stuck in that moment. Saturnian Bloodstorm, despite all of its excellent songwriting and careful creation, begins to sink into the muck of being just another black metal album. Stagnant waters eventually go foul. Saturnian Bloodstorm in its lesser moments can feel like a re-warmed version of Heir Of Ecliptical Romanticism, which itself can feel like a re-warmed Immortal record. I don’t care enough to stop listening to Lamp Of Murmuur, but the band seems to exist within a shrinking space.
At this point, Lamp Of Murmuur have established themselves as one of the best pure black metal bands around. They invent nothing and evolve nothing. Instead, they use Saturnian Bloodstorm to lovingly create some very well-written music that already sounds like a classic band that will be talked about for years. I recommend Saturnian Bloodstorm to anyone who can tolerate second wave worship, this is the king of the hill.
- Conqueror Beyond the Frenzied Fog
- Hymns of Death, Rays of Might
- Seal of the Dominator
- Descending from the Aurora
- In Communion with the Wintermoon
- Saturnian Bloodstorm
Total Playing Time: 40:01