Swiss act Rorcal has been one of the most eclectic bands in the creepiest depths of European post-black metal for quite some time now, as we have also experienced here on Aristocrazia. Three years after the tragedy in four acts Κρέων / Creon, the Geneva-based quintet with Muladona put together perhaps the most ambitious work in their multifaceted career. The record was directly inspired by Eric Stener Carlson’s book of the same name, a North American writer currently based in Switzerland, a horror-tinged novel set in Texas in 1918, during the devastating Spanish flu pandemic. This outbreak provides the stage for the appearance of the Muladona (mule woman), the creature from Catalan folklore that interacts with the narrator.
All the conceptual ingredients were perfect for the local label Hummus Records to be the right channel through which to publish this effort by Rorcal, after having seen the great work done for another musical adaptation with Pictorial by Killbody Tuning. The band dedicated Muladona to the memory of Mathias Perrin, friend and bassist (also active with Impure Wilhelmina) who passed away last year just after the album had been completed. The extremely minimal design of the digipak, crafted by Lausanne-based Happypets’ Studio, doesn’t give away much of what we will find in the record in terms of sound.
Well, what welcomes us, already starting from the titles and the opening track, is an unsustainably thick shroud of absolute discomfort and perceptive difficulties. The spoken word parts were kindly offered by Carlson himself, reading excerpts from the novel (marked in italics in the booklet) enveloped by the noisy darkness put together by Rorcal. What can we say about the harsh vocals then, a monstrous performance by Yonni Chapatte, perfectly at (un)ease in both the more violently black metal sections as well as in the oppressing and sludgey doom parts. Muladona was recorded in three days, infusing the right impression of urgency and unrest to the adaptation of the novel. In order to get a better idea of the atmosphere and the amount of evil that you can breathe in the album, I would recommend listening to “The Only Constant In This World Is Blackness Of The Human Heart”, also using this occasion to remind you that the album is also available for download through the name your price formula on Hummus’ website.
We are clearly dealing with one of the most interesting releases of the year in the realm of the blackest post-metal, as the Swiss band once again proved themselves as one of the top acts in this field. Rorcal will celebrate this period of great artistic vigor by presenting the album at Roadburn 2020, taking part in the historic Dutch festival for the first time.