RUNE & RUIN
Bestial Mouths is a different project now than at the time of the release of their last LP Heartless in 2016. Where previous incarnations of the darkwave act were more in traditional band format, Bestial Mouths is now the solo project of vocalist and songwriter Lynette Cerezo, with RESURRECTEDINBLACK as this incarnation’s first LP, following 2019’s INSHROUDSS EP. Working with producer and co-writers Brant Showers (AAIMON/SØLVE), Alex DeGroot (Zola Jesus) and Balázs Képli (nullius in verba), it’s pretty distinct album from any record released as Bestial Mouths that preceded it, highlighting both the depth and power of Cerezo as a performer and her vision as a creator.
That’s not to say that Bestial Mouths are unrecognizable in the project’s current form; broadly it’s the same modern darkwave with weighty drums and foggy electronic atmospheres fronted by Lynette Cerezo’s unearthly voice that we’re familiar with. The real difference is structural, as the synth and percussion programming is allowed to move more openly and organically, foregoing rigid tempos and structures. “Lain to Rust” is a great example of that fluidity, with a construction that allows its beat-driven verse to flow easily into its chorus, and then for the two segments to blur into one as Cerezo’s vocal lines come together. You can also here that protean quality in the slow build of opener “The Falls” as seemingly disparate bass tones and percussion hits suddenly coalesce into a full-on arrangement, or in the way the instrumentation of “The Loss” rises and falls behind the song’s mournful vocals.
Cerezo herself puts down some of her best performances on RESURRECTEDINBLACK, with scarcely a moment of the album not touched by her considerable presence. Whether as a spectre on “Our Souls Take” or flexing powerfully against the muscly club arrangement of “In Ruins” she commands attention, taking on whatever form best suits the track. She specifically shines on the industrial-rock touched “Dry as Dust”, a quavering performance that suggests both scorn and baleful sorrow in equal measures. Especially notable is the groaning and croaking performance on the funereal “(A) Siren Calls”, paradoxically suggesting confidence via its open suggestion of sorrow and desperation.
At nine tracks and a little over 35 minutes of music RESURRECTEDINBLACK is an undiluted statement of an LP. While the trappings of Bestial Mouths are the same as they’ve always been, there’s a boldness and a new sense of zeal permeating it, lending it a specific grandeur. Albeit it’s a grandeur draped in a funeral shroud and surrounded by ghostly apparitions, but it’s no less stately and majestic for it. Recommended.