Sardinian band Charun, not to be confused with Finland’s Charon, are a post rock band. The fact that Isis’s James Plotkin mastered this album says much. After getting us firmly into the groove with a swampy start, “Malacoda” sends us into epic and emotional worlds not unlike the Americans of “Panopticon” fame. It’s impressive. Charun create interest with a range of atmospheres while allowing us to soak in them first.
From the heights we are taken to sludgier depths as “Mae” perpetuates the foggy gloom but is slowed down to become ponderous and doomy. Melancholic tunes peer through the mist. After the opening shadowy narrative of “Malacoda”, this is now purely instrumental. The drums patter and the guitars reinforce the melancholy with a symphonic-sounding accompaniment. Again the world does not stand still, but I’m pleased to say that we are allowed to linger a while in the tingling atmosphere. I was sorry when “Mae” ended.
Delicate softness accompanies the drums on “Laran”. In accordance with post rock convention, I could feel the atmosphere building up but it is done subtly and gently. But intriguingly it does not rise to its anticipated height, but deviates into a sinister, twisty, avant-gardish passage before returning to the delicate spring and introducing an image of a faraway land. The strong fuzzy ending was unnecessary in my mind because Charun had painted enough of a picture already. There’s no doubting though that this band know how to provoke reaction and appeal to emotions. “Nethuns” starts like an exotic clock, marking out time and balancing it with gentle tones. The piano stands in the background and plays melancholically as time continues to be marked. Now we enter a cosmic vacuum. This is intriguing. The piano continues and time drifts on magnificently. The drum beats slowly again and the guitar fills the gloomy air with colourful sounds. “Menvra” is reflective and magical. Then as if listed off the ground, it takes on an experimental mood. For the first time while listening to this album, I was lost. The calm is restored and the dreamy world returns. “Vanth” then has a rare urgency, and whilst presenting another, more violent side of the band’s post rock output, stood in contrast to the dreamy and emotional world, which are such a strong feature of this album.
I like post rock in general and I like this album. Its conflicting moods presented a confusion of balance for me however. Yet there are moments of sheer wonderment too. “Mundus Cereris” is an independently creative and sensitive work, whose moods I could breathe in with pleasure.
(7.5/10 Andrew Doherty)