A couple of months ago J Simpson wrote about the debut from Eyemouth entitled Black and Blue Latitudes. He eloquently explained the disparate styles the band twists and contorts into their distinct vision. The band's second effort Non Compos Mentis further establishes the foundation that the band created with their first release.
The songs on Non Compos Mentis are experimental yet accessible. They weave through tones and textures that you wouldn't expect to be inviting but somehow are especially with repeated listens. Take for instance the first track “Phlegmone” which is a thematic soundscape that is ominous and seductive.
The fragmented percussion combines with dark pads and what sound like the chants of The Knight of Templar and a demon struggling to take its last breath. Like a three part play the song is defined within segments. Just a little after the one-minute mark you hear a distinct bell that invites what sounds like battle horns. Chaos ensues into an evil ooze of noise that feels like the end of an ancient Pagan ritual.
The second track “Blood on the Earth” although on a complete different wavelength uses a similar palette of tones that connects it to the first. You won't deny the gigantic industrial drums and the arpeggiated synths that can give you visions of a dystopian world. Amongst the post-apocalyptic vibe is a catchy vocal melody that is delivered with reverence.
“Responsible” starts with piano and vocals. The vocalist sings, “When Jesus is awakened I don’t dare to speak, after everything I’ve done/I need to hear him say.” The vocal performance on “Responsible” is the most memorable and impactful on the EP. As the song progresses percussion, synths and other elements are added. None of it seems to feel like too much.
For all the ominous and mysterious tones that happened within the first three songs, I was happy to hear them end with “Will There Be a Light.” Don’t get me wrong there are some dark elements especially within the verse but the chorus is exuberant dare I say even joyful sounding. At the very least it’s cathartic.
Overall, Non Compos Mentis is the nail in coffin that Eyemouth is the real deal. This music is for the connoisseur who likes to hear something that avoids typical clichés and tropes. Eyemouth is on to something with their music but I don’t think the mainstream could handle it. Non Compos Mentis has a place amongst the fringe.
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