Despite what I wrongly thought the Swiss have actually had their fair share of revolutions and had a short but humdinger of one in 1847 which led to the country becoming a federal state. Anyway before I start doing more research and waffling on about The war of the peasants of the Emmental (which I always thought was a type of cheese) in 1653 let’s move swiftly forward and see why Blutmond (who are Swiss obviously) are declaring the revolution dead. I already learned that this lot are rather barking on reviewing their last album ‘Thirteen Urban Ways 4 Groovy Bohemian Days’ in 2010 and as soon as I saw they had a new platter was keen to get back into their groove, Bohemian or otherwise. The cover immediately caught my attention, (read creeped me the hell out) 10.XiXt of Farsot has done a visionary piece and the nice PDF newspaper style spread out that accompanies my digital download tells me that it is all to do with emancipation and women being looked at as sex objects in society, the media being the dictator that is largely to blame. As for the revolution it may be dead but we are also informed that Blutmond are not going to ‘shut the fuck up’
Indeed when you press play they won’t be for the next 75 minutes.
Yep, this is another epic album as was the last one and it is packed full of great songs and ideas that must have taken a long time to conceive and write. We start with a rant through a loud hailer and we are pitched into Blutmond’s form of civil unrest. The music is brash and in your face, pounding away and hitting a very chunky head banging groove as ‘Putting Hearts Together’ hones in. Obviously this is going to take you through many different styles and quickly goes moody with saxophone which plays an important part throughout. Then we get some stunning high hitting female sassy vocals (I believe provided by Anna Murphy of Eluveitie). These are absolutely staggering but are a split tease before the distempered roar of the male vocals comes back at you. Electronic pulses add to things as the song again slows and the two moods of in your face and gloom and doom joust away until this first monster of a number is done. There are still another 11 equally good numbers to go. Katatonia, Forgotten Tomb and even some old 80’s punk courtesy of the sax are at the tip of my mind as we go into ‘Regret.’ We are bounced all over the place, this would be an epic number live for a workout. The vocals are equally excellent and really in your face constantly, the drive here really pumps you up and makes you feel alive and .. well wanting to revolt. This is what I call an ants in yer pants album, it is one that is very difficult to sit still to whilst it is playing.
‘Stop The Rain, Neuzeit Jesus’ is one of many stand out moments mainly due to the catchy rhyming and again dictatorially hollered chorus. The song has underlying Gothic textures too, reminding a bit of Tiamat but when it moves into twisting turning and giddy bursts of speed it takes on the avant-garde feel of a band like Lifelover. This is probably the track I would pick for a magazine cover-mount CD, it is certainly going to catch attention and have a few jaws going clunk on the floor. Moonlit T has a very catchy electronic melody and one which instantly had me scratching my head and suddenly realising it reminds a lot of Human League classic ‘Darkness’ from their ‘Dare’ album, it suitably matches that darkness before the track jumps up like a 28 Days Infected and sprints away on a 100 meters dash. It is strange the amount of completely disparate bands this has me thinking of, the revolution stance and the in your face vocal delivery is not a million miles from Atari Teenage Riot at times, but the originality is not diminished in the slightest, Blutmond just have me glimpsing at others whilst wrapping it all in their madcap vision.
To keep attention over such a long time (I mean it’s almost film length) is no easy task but the group keep throwing surprises and keeping us on our toes. The fantastic melody of ”Birds Of Prey’ would have a ska-punk band in delirium although don’t get me wrong it just again touches on that genre. The screaming female vocals are also back and boy do you notice them. Somewhere on this album are also many other guests such as Managarm of Varg, Schwadorf of The Vision Bleak, and assorted members of Nucleus Torn, Autumblaze, Vinterriket and Amon. As this carries spinning ‘Attention Whore! (Lost in Bliss)’ has trip-hop moments going into shredding prog rock out sax parts all bolstered again by those stunning female vocals and I am indeed lost in bliss.
I am glad I had the download of this a fair while ago it has given me the much needed time to really give this the large amount of repeated spins it requires for a proper review. It has left me bowled over and wondering just where it is going to crop up on the fast approaching end of year list. This is certainly more than a mere album it is a work that has heart and soul poured into it and one that really deserves to be sought out and heard. ¡Viva la Revolución!
(9/10 Pete Woods)