Mütterlein – Bring Down the Flags (Review)

Mütterlein - Bring Down the FlagsThis is the second album from Mütterlein, a one-woman experimental band from France.

After being really struck by the quality of Mütterlein’s split with Limbes from earlier in the year, I was looking forward to getting to grips with what Bring Down the Flags had to offer.

The music on Bring Down the Flags is a mix of doom, dark ambient, and industrial, with a blackened aura cloaking everything. It’s very well-crafted, and the artist is adept at crafting oppressive atmospheres that speak of dark emotions and sinister times.

The music is layered with different levels of sound; some are blatantly portrayed with in-your-face immediacy, while others are more subtle, lurking deeper in the soundscapes ready to ensnare the unwary. Despite this, much of the music is minimalistic and sparse in feel, (although certainly not all of it), twisting and warping its harrowing sounds to be somehow more than they should be, as if they’re inhabiting multiple realities at once and we can just about sense the wrongness that this creates. A doom-drench ritualistic feeling is apparent in much of the material, as if the listener is an unwilling participant in summoning, (or exorcising), these otherworldly sensations that shouldn’t exist in our environment. The music’s menacing and malevolent vibes give off this aura in spades, and the album reeks of foul esoterica and destructive preternatural ambitions.

Bring Down the Flags resembles a multifaceted journey into a world of pain, misery, and horror. Each track represents a different part of the journey, offering something unique for the traveller to explore or endure, while leading them inexorably to the album’s final experience, the 12-minute Requiem.

If you’re in the market for individualistic music that’s dark and surrounded by dangerous nightmares-made-manifest that circle it like predators, then Bring Down the Flags is for you. The artist behind Mütterlein has created an album of atmosphere-driven horror to terrify and brutalise. It’s worth every second of its 42-minute run time to experience, too.

Highly recommended.

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