The Game of Thrones TV show and the book series which it is based off of, A Song of Fire and Ice, features a rather complex fantasy world with various belief systems and a cast of interesting and rich characters to fill these roles.
One of these belief systems in the world is the religion of the Lord of Light, a belief system which espouses that there are two gods, one a good god of love and light, and the other a god of darkness and evil.
This week’s Melodic Monday entry is about a band which asks questions of dark and light and hopes to share some thoughts on the duality of those themes.
But obviously life is not so simple as to be divided in this way.
Or is it?
My Personal Murderer – Cauchemar
released February 4, 2016
My Personal Murderer are a Ukrainian rock group which have been been active since 2008. Influenced by director David Lynch, the 1990s, and the socio-political environment they live in, My Personal Murderer have created three studio-length albums in the past six years.
I was very happy to hear from the band’s frontman and get an opportunity to review this album, because it’s themes are interesting and the sound distinct. I admit I had little idea what I was getting myself into, but I’m glad I said yes to Yevgen Chebotarenko. Did you know that the word Cauchemar is of French origin and means “to have a nightmare”? My Personal Murderer are a rock group with a few self-proclaimed influences, ranging from alternative, to atmospheric, depressive rock, post-punk, shoegazing, and I would also add emo into that mix.
Yevgen has an incredible control over the music and lyrics of MPM, as he is the lead vocalist, guitar player, and heart of the band, and he told me that Cauchemar the album has been a labour of love from the start. The band has seen some lineup changes from the time that the first single of the record, Constant Waiting, was put together last year, but the trio worked out the kinks and got the album out.
Yuriy Kononov plays drums currently, but Maxim Kovalchuk, who played bass, left the group midway in 2015 and was replaced by former bassist Nikita Perfiliev.
Cauchemar represents that collaboration between these three artists and a new direction for the band. The album evokes feelings of intimacy throughout, shifting from obsessions of lust, pain, spirit and struggle to grind out the themes focused in each track. The title track features a talking sequence and is one of my personal favourites on the record. With lines like “why is there nothing, if there is nothing, where did I come from?” asking questions, the tone is set up quite well. You can hear the talking sequence shift to feature background voices and eventually give way to percussion and wind instruments.
The Worm Prince traces out the actions of a body in contortion, fighting itself and attempting to excise the unwanted portions (people and emotions) and challenges with a hollowed out self, while Constant Waiting is less obvious. The melancholy is there but the lyrics on this one are curious, I can’t tell if it’s an admission of lustful guilt or a suicide note, but the pain and suffering in the story is very deliberate.
Dear Pigeon is up next and has a similar pacing, but the tone is one of both anger and empowerment, the author is aware that he suffers, but he wants the audience and players in his life to admit their limited participation and lack of commitment to his misery.
I think my other two favourites are Crawling Son and Soup For the Creature. Crawling Son has a spiritual feel and evokes a story of fallen angels, while the later includes a narrative of the end of a love story, a lover spurned, a lover lost.
Finally, comes the song Streets. This is the longest song on the record, at 9 minutes and 32 seconds. The build up for this one is pretty intense and delayed, the first three minutes are instrumentals; it then dips back and forth into instrumentals after the 5 minute mark. Another story to be told here about identity, maturation, and the struggle of isolation by defying conformity.
It’s important to recognize that while the members of this band are collaborating together, My Personal Murderer is a band not yet fully realized. I am willing to bet that Yevgen and the rest of the group will come into their own as they perform these songs and hone the focus of these tracks. Shoegazing is a genre of music which isn’t for everyone, but if you are interested in introspection and want to hear some solid music, give this album a try. It can be found on mypersonalmurderer.com and is worth the price of admission.
After all, the night is dark and full of terrors, and it can be scary to go it alone.
And that’s it for today, dear readers. I’ll see you tomorrow with another introspective genius review, or should I say review on an introspective genuis?