As I ventured into the heart of the sonic labyrinth known as ‘Myopia,’ a collaborative endeavor between Mizmor and Thou, I found myself ensnared in a haunting symphony that defied both time and space. The year 2023 brought forth this enigmatic creation, a mesmerizing fusion of doom, sludge, and drone, adorned with an exquisite cover art that beckoned me into its depths. The allure of Mizmor and the resonating echoes of Thou intertwined within this auditory tapestry promised an unforgettable experience. However, amidst the hustle and bustle of life, the album’s impact eluded my memory until this very moment.
As the sweltering heat of Hanoi began to wane, my senses opened up to embrace the weighty compositions of ‘Myopia.’ My love for Mizmor had been kindled years prior, with their 2016 album ‘Yodh’ etching its atmospheric brilliance into my consciousness. Their mastery of blending frosty tremolo picks, unforgiving blast beats, and delicate, melancholic post-metal guitar tones resonated deeply within me. It was an album that encapsulated romance, sorrow, and a touch of malevolent drone, all in one exquisite and disconcerting package.
Thou, on the other hand, emerged as torchbearers of the Louisiana Sludge legacy, with their lineage tracing back to the progenitors of the genre – Eyehategod and Acid Bath. The guitar tones, grim and gnarled like rusted saw blades, offered a visceral experience that was simultaneously repulsive and compelling. Their straightforward, yet fervently charged melodies were reminiscent of hardcore punk’s raw vigor, juxtaposed against a backdrop of exhaustion and a hint of the macabre. The unique blend of earthy, rugged guitar work and the melancholic tinge of Southern Rock added layers of complexity to their sound.
Now, let us return to ‘Myopia.’ Unlike a mere split, this album is a true collaboration between two formidable forces. Theoretical expectations aside, the album managed to captivate me with its sheer brilliance. It effortlessly weaves a tale inspired by the dream of an insect transforming into a human, only to awaken to the cruel reality of its transient existence – a concept as enticing as it is philosophical. However, my focus here is on the musical journey that accompanies this captivating narrative.
From the very first moment, ‘Myopia’ envelops me. The drums rush in like a torrential flood, punctuating the air with rhythmic fury. The guitars follow suit, their lengthy, dense notes twisted and contorted, deliberate in their slowness yet robust in their presence. The vocals, a tormented howl, convey a sense of anguish that is not merely depressive, but rather a concentrated, cathartic release. As the album unfolds, Mizmor and Thou maintain the initial impact with a remarkable consistency, maintaining their grip over the album’s 70-minute duration.
Throughout this sonic odyssey, the blend of Mizmor and Thou’s influences is seamless. Moments of elongated tremolo, interspersed with deliberate, contemplative passages, mirror the delicate dance between post-black atmospherics and the weighty trudge of sludgecore. It’s an intricate tapestry of contrasts, where romance and violence coexist, where melancholy meets aggression, and where the mournful wails harmonize with moments of somber tranquility. The relentless, boundless melodies of post-black surge atop the concise, aggressive bursts of sludgecore, creating a harmonious union that is both striking and harmonious.
Apprehensions of monotony often accompany albums rich in drone and sludge elements, but ‘Myopia’ deftly dispels such concerns. Any fleeting moments of contemplative drone are promptly met with an escalation of pace, preventing the listener from drifting away into a sea of lethargy. The ever-evolving melodies keep the momentum alive, rendering the 70-minute opus remarkably fluid. Each transition between movements is seamless, maintaining an immersive grip over my senses throughout the album’s duration.
Both Mizmor and Thou take turns in shaping the album’s temporal landscape. The protracted tremolo sequences, the languid interludes, the dreamy embrace of post-black atmospherics – all intertwine with the leaden, sludgy guitar tones that are quintessential to the genre. It is, however, the moments of synergy that truly stand out. When post-black’s expansive melodies entwine with sludgecore’s relentless aggression, a sonic alchemy occurs – a marriage of sounds that is both exhilarating and haunting.
As I pen down this review, the aftermath of two days immersed in ‘Myopia’ finds me awestruck and entranced. Sludge and drone are not my daily fare, yet something about the essence of Hanoi’s autumn had drawn me into ‘Myopia’s’ enthralling embrace. A perfect soundtrack for a lazy day of introspection, its haunting allure permeates every moment, casting an indelible mark on my musical journey.
In the grand tapestry of music, ‘Myopia’ emerges as a masterpiece that defies conventions. The collaborative brilliance of Mizmor and Thou transcends genres, creating an immersive experience that encapsulates the spectrum of human emotion. From the realm of dreams to the harsh reality of existence, ‘Myopia’ navigates the intricate dance between light and darkness, emerging as a haunting yet captivating testament to the power of sound.