Get ready to witness one of the most stunning videos you’re likely to see this year, a rapidly changing panorama of reconstruction, deconstruction, and geometric juxtaposition in which the natural flow of time is up-ended. It is an ingenious, thrilling, and harrowing accompaniment to a song that also radiates all of those same qualities, and more. And it resonates with particular intensity in our current time, when everything we thought we knew about the world seems to be fracturing, to itself be deconstructing.
The song is “I See Through Stones“, and it appears on Brutalism, the first full-length by the French band Mur, whose six-person line-up includes former members of Today is the Day, Glorior Belli, Mass Hysteria, Comity, and Four Question Marks. The album was released last October by Les Acteurs de l’Ombre Productions, and this video and song provide a terrific reminder of why it’s a record you should explore without delay if you haven’t already.
We had the good fortune of premiering (and reviewing) a full stream of Brutalism last fall. It is a fascinating experience because it is such a dynamic one, continually displaying an affinity for dramatic change that incorporates overpowering destructive force and head-spinning adventurousness. It offers constant surprises, but does so without losing the bonds that forge all the experiences together into a whole, and without sacrificing the explosive, searing intensity that’s the main hallmark of the record.
The wobbling, pounding electronic sounds of the introduction to “I See Through Stones” are one of those surprises, coming as they do on the heels of the body-wracking rhythms that bring the preceding track, “Red Blessings Sea”, to a close. A hammering industrial rhythm carries the song forward, joined by heated writhing guitars and equally scorching vocals. Twisted, blaring melodies combine with gigantic grooves; dissonant spearing tones emerge from eruptions of razoring chaos; bursts of guitar frenzy seethe, simmer, and reach heights of lunacy, while the rhythm drives your head like a piston. It ends abruptly, leaving only the sound of your own heavy breathing — just a brief pause before the nightmarish opening sounds of the following track “Lividity” set your teeth on edge.
When you see the way in which Insane the Frame Studio built the fast-cutting video (which includes film of Mur’s intense live performance), you’ll appreciate what a good match it makes for the music, and how appropriate are the suggestive words we received by way of introduction to it: “Brutalism as a cult, a distortion of reality and natural forms through patchwork images of what used to be the world…. The deconstruction of all, the energy coming back and forth through geometrical forms leads us here to the crossing light. The revelation through time cancellation. A narrative access to the deconstruction paradigm. All the matter, all that matters is here on the frame….”
And let’s say it one more time: If you haven’t already listened to this album, don’t waste any more time. A full stream is included below, along with links for buying it.