Bart M. : Wow. It takes a while to sink in, but when it does, the wow will be big. Mark Deutrom is a musical jack of all trades (and master of all) who initially got recognition for his role as bass player in The Melvins. Not for very long, but long enough to carve his name in stone. And in a way that seems a bit of a pity, because there is so much more to this guy than just that part of history. His solo career for instance. A career that has sported a number of very interesting, great albums, that are now being re-issued. Earlier this year we reviewed the re-issue of his first album: 'The Silent Treatment', complimenting it on its rich diversity, and now here we have 'Brief Sensuality & Western Violence', an absolute doomological album.
First released in 2013, the album kicks off with the extensive song 'Dick Cheney', which after a long introduction and a teasing build-up confronts us with slow and foreboding riffs. Riffs that somehow remind me of certain parts of Iced Earth's masterwork 'Burnt Offerings', and also feel classical and familiar. There is no escaping some experimentation in the final run of this song, but that is not just some pale attempt to make something fancy, no, it actually ties the picture this song is painting quite well together, and the picture that I am seeing here is that of the perfect blueprint of how a doom song should be written. We move on to the very touching 'Winter Haystacks At Twilight', quite a dreary title, but perfect for an instrumental song that actually manages to capture the feeling of this title with its haunting guitars. I always find it fascinating when bands come up with a title that matches the music perfectly. I could go on describing all of the other songs as well, but this album is an adventure that you will just have to embark on on your own. Each of these songs creates a unique atmosphere, atmospheres that do not necessarily radiate an aura of good feelings but force you to reflect upon the darker realms of the mind. The quiet, narrative voice of Mark Deutrom (somewhat comparable to that of Tiamat on the album 'Wildhoney') certainly adds something special, invoking a kind of melancholic nostalgia.
On 'Brief Sensuality & Western Violence' Mark Deutrom shows once again what a versatile musician he is, unafraid to also tread the paths untrodden and give his own meaning to musical genres and styles. This album should be of very great interest to everyone who has a fondness for music.