In late July of this year we presented the first in a series of videos that were being created for the songs on an album named Orphans of the Black Sun by Mütterlein, and today we bring you another. This time, the video takes the song “Black Dog” as its subject.
For those who may yet be unfamiliar with Mütterlein, it’s a band named for a song on a 1970 album by the German musician and actress Nico; a band whose principal creative force Marion Leclercq (of the cult French act Overmars) has named Nico, The Cure, and Breach as the three main pillars of her widely varying influences; a band for whom krautrock and Shannon Wright seem to be as beloved as Sabbath and Tragedy; a band who caught the ear of Phil at Debemur Morti Productions and Blut Aus Nord’s Vindsval, who together made Mütterlein’s debut album Orphans of the Black Sun the first release of their new collaborative label Sundust Records.
As I wrote on the occasion of the first video’s premiere, Sundust’s mission is to spread to open-minded listeners transcendent music that isn’t inhibited by the usual genre characteristics of metal, and Mütterlein certainly aligns with that mission. Orphans of the Black Sun is unusual in many respects; it’s difficult to pin down; there is a kind of simplicity to the compositions, but also a concentrated attention to the details of the sound, with every note and tone seemingly devoted with care to the creation of a haunted (and haunting) atmosphere and the expression of powerful emotion. In that enterprise Marion Leclerq was joined by Christophe Chavanon of Kerwax Studio (and by the guitarist and drummer of Carne for live performances).
Marion Leclercq offered us these thoughts about “Black Dog“:
“‘I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears, and sweat.’ This is how Winston Churchill spoke to the crowd in his first speech on 13 May 1940, in the first year of World War II. My Black Dog is melancholy personified, in reference to how Churchill or even Styron used to talk so well about their depressive tendency and their own personnal struggle. To me, looking at him in the eye is the greatest strength because this heavy melancholy is as much a burdensome weight as the engine of all creativity.”
The raw, wrenching emotional intensity of Leclerq’s voice is a commanding presence in this gripping, dramatic song. The galvanizing boom and tumble of drums and eerie reverberating organ chords give the music both a sonic weight and an atmosphere of devastation that suits the bleak lyrical subject matter. The song coils the spring of tension from beginning to end, with no relief. It becomes a kind of apocalyptic, soul-searing saga that somehow manages to cast a dark and brilliant spell through its heaving agonies.
The video was directed by Aimée Lügenmund, and it’s as grim and fascinating to watch as the music is to hear.
Orphans Of The Black Sun is still available in various editions at the Debemur Morti Productions shop:
The digital edition is available on Bandcamp:
After the video for “Black Dog”, you’ll also find the first video we premiered a few months ago, for Chapter 1 of Orphans…, “Lesbians, Whores and Witches”.