Murk Rider – Exile Of Shadows

Band: Murk Rider
Title: Exile Of Shadows
Label: Independent
Release date: 20 June 2019
Country: USA
Format reviewed: High-Quality Digital Promo

Murk Rider… Can be like a horseman with blackness and dark feelings inside him… Like a horseman full of obscurity… Well, if so, this release is that…

When I got this promo, I do not know why but the name of the band caught my attention. I had the feeling that I already saw it in some place, but I couldn’t remember where. So I decided to gave them a listen. And, I can say that was well worth it.

This album is only released in digital format, and I understand why. And why? Well… This album is divided in just 3 songs, but each song could be an album. Yes… It could… Because of the length of each song.

Descent (21:48), Journey (29:00), Return (31:08)… This is the order of the songs… 

Descent…
Starts with the sound of a fire pit, like in those movies of witches in order to call the spirits and all the owls, serpents, wolfs, ravens and all the animals that have been related to the spirits are together around it and the “Descent” is ready to start and nothing can stop it… And then the songs starts, the song when guitars, bass, voice, and drums start to transport you, showing that the descent started. The band is moving inside the Black Metal but not the typical equalization, not the typical riffs, not the typical song structure. They have a unique sound, the way that is sung, the riffs, the leads, and the drums… It’s fast, it’s sick, it’s Murk Rider… But at the same time, they remind me of Panopticon.
The only “breaks” on the song, are at 12:30 and 15:31 and they are not a really a “break” they are more like a passage to another level or stage. And… at 17:09…Tchhhhh… The riffs, the atmosphere, the ambiance on the song… Very good. Very well achieved. It’s “chaotic” it’s “brutal”. Loved… So, the album started very well to be honest…

Journey…
This time the song starts with the sound of water and thunders… That reminds me of the daybreak and the journey of the Murk Rider will start, and it starts as a battle… Yes, the songs started in a very strong way, with a killer riffs with the “agonized” voice of the storyteller… and on the 02:34 the change to another killer and captive riffs with “melody” and the way of singing changed. Not too bad, it’s different and it fits on the song/riff like a dark glove. At 04:02, finally a true “break” in all blackness in the songs… But don’t think that the “blackness” stopped, no… It didn’t… To me, while I was listening to music, was like the Murk Rider is on the cliff looking for the plains in front of him, thinking that they will pay for everything they had done and then he started to down by the small paths till he reaches the plains and starts to ride, fast, with all the dark feelings inside him… Everything is done, everything is killed, his anger, dark feelings made it… And at 11:49 started a voice of an ancient spirit singing (female voice, like the keltic songs, performed by Katrena Marie) like he is seeing everything devastated, everything is burning, no human voices, no living being is there, and the water started again, first that looks like a river coming down from the cliff behind him, after that, like rain, like a rebirth inside him… But NOOOOOOOOOOOO… The battle is not over… So he rides again… The song can transport me there, to the slaughter, to the killing… At 26:40 he arrives at the castle and the trumpets start to play, not symphonic here, beware of that, and when he arrives there the smell of fear is on the air…

Return…
This time the songs started with the wind… Like a big storm is coming… Like the final battle is near. The Murk Rider is ready… While the atmosphere sounds are getting out from my stereo, the image of him, the Murk Rider standing on his horse looking at the enemy, while many images are passing by his eyes, the memories, the things he did and saw, and what he need to do are in my head, and I imagine that. He is ready, but for what he is waiting? The last call? The last order? Why he is doing this and why he needs to do it? And he starts the battle, the final war. The music behind it can transmit that to me, the “chaotic” riff with the leads, the drums, all together making the most beautiful ending.

Maybe I have a fertile imagination, I do not know, but while I was listening to the music, divided into 3 parts as I mentioned above and while I was reading the lyrics, all that, was inside my head. it was like, I was feeling the same as the Murk Rider with all the dark feelings inside me and the experience… Was… AMAZING. Thanks a lot for the band for making me feel like I was in the skin of the Murk Rider, thank you for making me feel the song and all the passages/acts. 10/10 The Key Keeper

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