Album Review: HMUNGA – Libration

HMUNGA - Libration

Coming less than a year after the the previous release, Munich’s experimentalist Florian Zelinski is back to the business with his project HMUNGA, and its brand new full-length effort titled Libration. This new record proves one thing — this project definitely represents one of the most innovative bands on the current scene, and having said that I certainly hope that some big label will notice the artist’s creative potential and sign him what will bring him opportunities for touring and breaking out of Germany.

Libration is absolutely a crushing record, but in the same time it’s constructive and creative release full of energy and power. On this album, Zelinski owns the sound by making it obedient, what’s shown through the unification of all diverse parts, and instruments.

The opening self-titled track “Libration” gains the attention it seeks from stabs of post-progressive rock contrasted with avant-garde and psychedelic ambiance. It doesn’t take much for HMUNGA to show the beauty of improvisation in about four minutes.

“Anorthosite” with the implementation of various synth motifs are a step forward to the more experimental territory, while “Void” feels a bit gloomy courtesy of opening vocal chant. Sax solo (yes, you read it right) towards the middle, along with soothing electric guitar, is such a melodic outburst.

Zelinski does not blow his load early in an effort to maintain the listener’s interest, but rather chooses to foreplay. He teases the listener by pursuing unexpected sonic paths while never failing in his ability to deliver a killer hook when atmosphere and melody will no longer suffice. His appetite for dizzying rhythms is obvious in groovy “Eclipse.” What’s better than oriental vocal chant as a playground to highlight his rhythmical obsessions.

“Occultations” features the sound of flute, retaining a strong flavour of the mentioned orientalism. The guitar solo in “Lunar Synapses” is exceptionally well executed. “Blood Moon” is one of the album’s highlights; Zelinski has packed a powerful combination of styles in just under four minutes. The ethereal metal vibe of the closing piece “The Arrival” shows yet another facette of the band. Some swirling and scintillating sounds, akin to the ones offered by musical boxes or lullabies, provide an enchanting side to the whole.

This album is a powerful offering from the German. Zelinski has taken a distinctive combination of ingredients and squeezed out every bit of potential out of them. Whatever he does next with HMUNGA, in any case, I’m there.

Libration is available from BandcampFollow HMUNGA on YouTube.

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