Munt-Pain Ouroboros EP Review and an interview. FFO: Sheer brutal masterpieces.


Munt-Pain Ouroboros EP Review and an interview. FFO: Sheer brutal masterpieces.

Fuck me with a chainsaw this is glorious and insanely tech, yet blunt trauma glory. This band has refined its sound over time and is one of Australia's best extreme bands. This EP is gobsmackingly amazing and even though I have seen them live heaps and also played in bands supporting them; I wasn't remotely prepared for the abrasive brilliance of this release. This band is a must-see and this EP needs to be in your collection NOW!!!.

Children of Delirium starts off with agonizing perfect cookie death metal monster vocals(that's high praise) that kick off this release so confidently. And wild blackened riffs destroy your ears in purely chaotic faultlessness. Munt is an utter sledgehammer to your face. And this doesn't ease up at all. The dissonant grimness is thick, suffocating and the epitome of all extreme bands. But alas, don't think of any rest period as The Vengeful March arrives. Intensely brilliant song composition, and skill levels off the chart. This band cannot be pigeonholed at all, and the war of grind vs death metal vs black metal(plus powerviolence and some doom/sludge) is apparent here, but the overall sound is a battering mix of all these and more. The audio development and the endpoints are worth it because this band sounds unique and unsettling in its composition/focus.  Zero Sum is the third demon unleashed here and is short but insanely effective. The guitar work was darkly sublime and the playing was tight and resoundingly aggressive, whilst being stubbornly moody as hell. Wow, how has this band in such a short time refined their incredible sound?. Nothing short of astounding work by this band. 

Communion of Thorns is as deranged as you can expect. How refreshing was the start with its sick deathcore vibes and then the tech death attack starts with lovely black metal overlays and effects; all mixed with one of the finest vocalists in extreme metal around guiding each track. Also, he doesn't dip into high-pitched vocals, just wicked extreme and masterful vocals of the finest order. This downturned chaos is wild and mixes underground grind with black metal superbly. This release impresses because each track pummels you in a completely different manner. 

Apostate Sermon is the electrifying closer and what a terrific track. This is black metal on utter hyperspeed and this reeks of insanity, but complete wizards at work. This demented song is out of the world with the tempo, the exquisite and precise playing and the sheer dark mood it chokes you with. Exceptional track and this is a top-notch EP and one of the heaviest releases I have heard in the last 15 years!!!. Support these guys hard and catch them live ASAP!!!.

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And now an excellent interview we did with the wondrous legend Tim of the band.
His insights and passion make this one of my fave interviews in some time; no rehashed or lame answers, quality passionate and articulate answers that we appreciate so much. Thanks mate!!!

MUNT Interview:

Hello Tim, nice to chat brother, 

First congrats on the new EP Pain Ouroboros that drops this Friday, what a nasty, hellish masterpiece; it’s dynamic, brutish and grim as fuck and cathartic as hell. You have always been a hard-working band, and you must be proud as hell of the fruits of your labour to produce this gem?

Could you give us, firstly a brief band history and the background to this release?

Thanks mate, we are very proud for this next release to finally be out.
The bands started around 2016, formed by Spud who had moved to Australia from Scotland. He had been in bands before and was almost ready to pull back on committing to a full band until he saw Magrudergrind play in Melbourne and he instantly got inspired to start a grind project.

At first, it was just him on vocals, guitar and bass for the first Cage EP with I believe George, the drummer from his old math/tech deathcore band from home “The Colour Pink is Gay” jumping in to do session work. I’m not sure of the exact details but at some time after this he met Ronnie (bass) who at the time was playing in Overpower and he immediately got to pestering Spud to make it into a proper band. I’m not sure who introduced who to who, but Joe and Seb from bogan power-violence outfit Uncle Geezer were recruited for vocals and drums respectively and the Cage EP was re-recorded and then two singles Striges and Seeds of the Machine were done. Joe ended up leaving and I was asked the night after a party I’d been at with Ronnie if I’d want to fill in on vocals. After hearing some demos of new material I knew I instantly I wanted to join. I also believed the new material needed a second guitarist to fill out the dynamics and atmospheric layers to bring the material fully to life and a new friend of mine, Sol, who I’d just been to Dark Mofo with was the perfect person I had in mind to bring on board given his taste, abilities and mindset.  So we went on to do the Towards Extinction EP, with Seb leaving afterwards to pursue life goals and in the process of trialling drummers we managed to squeeze in recording the 2020 split with friends in blackened crust band, Cordell. We finally found the right drummer for our band later on after we started the process of recording Pain Ouroboros through our friend Luke at Dangertone studios. This drummer was Jared who is best known for his work in thrash outfit Desecrator and that brings us to today, with the current lineup about to release this new record. 

You have had a few lineup changes, but this has resulted in an absolute military-type force where the band sounds now? How did this change occur, because you have gotta epically heavier from your early beginnings?

Sure, so I just covered a bit of this question above but the change from the frantic modern grindcore/power-violence vibe of the first EP had already changed with the new demos for what became Towards Extinction. I think that is possibly a response to some music Spud had been listening to at the time like French post-black metal outfit Celeste and also well-known hardcore outfit, Code Orange releasing new tunes around 2017/2018. I actually wrote the whole end two-thirds of the song Alas, the Weeping Ceases taking it from around nearly 3 minutes to 8 and a half in length. I guess my coming on board brought some similar influences to Spud, but I certainly push a lot more towards grimmer and discordant elements or anything “brooding and moody” in the material or ideas I contribute. Sol coming on board, again having similar tastes, brought similar ideas but also his fantastic technical ability as a guitarist who has a specific ability and taste for manic and tactile riffs (not to mention dive bombs). The evolution of our sound is not generally something we have planned out though we do discuss direction very often. I’d say that there is a small amount of tension in our process that is very healthy and translates to our music feeling very dynamic and energized. Ronnie is also worth mentioning as an overall vibe checker too, he has always had a great ear and eye for style and is a trustworthy hit-or-miss detector.

Also guide us through some key musical influences for this release and any bands that helped you get to this style, because it has many wild flavours, but sounds very original?

Hmm, well I personally didn’t write any whole songs for this release musically, so I can’t speak to what was exactly going through the minds of Sol and Spud with these songs. From my perspective, the very first EP has a massive Full of Hell, Nails and Magrudergrind feeling to it which still remains in our DNA to a degree. The singles afterwards I think capture a bit of influence from the Italian blackened grind outfit, The Secret, which for some of us are without copying at all, are a benchmark for the genre and it pushed us towards a more expansive sound. Towards Extinction then carried a lot of this on, as I mentioned Code Orange and Celeste being artists Spud was listening to a lot around that time. Again, I am speaking without complete certainty and I’m sure many things have gone through everyone, especially Spud's mind when writing, not only being inspired by bands alone. The split was two songs one by me and one by Sol, which really brought a little bit more of a bitter and really murky mood into things. Quite generally, all of us have very deep influences in intersecting sub-genres like grindcore/powerviolence, doom/sludge metal, black metal of various kinds (dissonant, atmospheric, post etc), death metal and its variants and hardcore. We listen to a lot of bands in those styles but so many more, and we all spend a lot of time scouring the scene for new and exciting releases.
So, I think for the material on Pain Ouroboros we have gone beyond key band influences shaping the foundation and it’s now us taking our own established sound and branching out without thinking “I really feel inspired by X band right now”
Perhaps that will change in future with a discussion about wanting to achieve something specific, or we might just keep following the natural momentum rather than think too obsessively. 

The latest video for The Vengeful March is beautifully dark and spine-chilling, walk us thru the ideas for this video, how was it making this great video and how important is art and music intersecting for the band, because everything you do has an artistic approach to it that is very much appreciated?

David from Grim Reflections had been in touch with Spud for a while I think, I know he had done work with our friends in Burial Pit and Mountain Wizard Death Cult. I think we knew right away we wanted to do a stripped back performance-focused video for The Vengeful March. There were some thoughts about interjecting stock footage relevant to the themes I am writing about lyrically, but sticking with pure performance felt like a really bold statement that was perfect for how direct and pummeling the song is musically. David is fantastic to work with, I was so impressed watching him getting excited about standing in the most awkward spot to capture fantastic angles or motions. The only bad thing about the entire experience is you don’t want people seeing earplugs in your ears in a music video. This is especially bad when you are filming in a concrete and tin roofed room, haha.
For me and for the band, art and music intersecting is massively important. I have handled a lot of the graphic design in the band outside of getting illustrations for merch and artwork (though I painted the cover for the split). But we all collaborate and contribute a lot to the discussion around all of this, maybe not more than all other bands but certainly a great deal.
As a band you are curating an experience, which can involve things like relatability, mystique or an overall impression of a personality a band has that exists outside of only what the music is. I think it’s a shame when bands don’t put the extra thought and effort in to make their art and music relate to one another and you kind of just have to “squint your eyes” and just focus on the sounds. Perhaps I notice these things more because I think of myself in other people’s shoes to imagine why they made a decision. Even “bad art” whatever that means, can be a part of the vibe you’re creating, it’s really just down to intention and how that translates. We definitely don’t like taking the easy route I am glad it is very much appreciated! I hope we can take the artistic elements of Munt even further in future.

What are some of your fave gigs so far, any international supports you really enjoyed?

Managing to get a support slot with Primitive Man is my favourite show to date I think. I woke up to the announcement and got onto networking my ass off to get a support slot on any of the shows. They’re a massive inspiration to me and it was surreal to get to do. There was also a lot of craziness to that whole holiday I will have to save for another day that made it memorable in good and bad ways, haha.

Melbourne seems to be a real melting pot of extreme music, your thoughts on this, it seems to be a thriving place where superbly mixed genre gigs work so well? 

Yeah, Melbourne is a cultural hub not only of Australia but the world. It’s just got a lot of venues and gallery spaces that draw people to not only travel to but live in the area. I think every city has it, but something is special about Melbourne culturally. For our scene or at least some aspects of it, there are certain key members of various bands who also hold our scene up too. But it’s a massively communal thing and it feels like the only boundaries are between the cleaner and more polished tier of acts and the gritty DIY vibe stuff.
I feel pretty biased, but I think we might have the best scene in the country at least for underground metal like grindcore, doom and death metal. We don’t only have high-quality bands, but a large quantity of them too so it’s not difficult making all kinds of lineups.

What’s next for the band, an album we hope? A touring cycle, more videos?

Maybe singles, maybe another small release or maybe a full length. There is no rushing for us, I think we’re going to focus on writing a lot of music to really get our ideas out in the open to see what direction we end up moving towards.
We will certainly be planning to tour towards the end of the year, and we have one more video coming for this release, so keep your eyes peeled.

Any bands, films or books that are floating your boat at the moment or that you can recommend?

I’ve been listening to this Swedish funeral doom/sludge band called Walk Through Fire a lot. If you put Bell Witch and Primitive Man together, you would get something approximating their sound. Dirging and bleak, yet still melodious doom that goes from strip-backed chords strumming to being so aggressive and pounding you could end up throwing down.
I’ve also been working my way through “How to Die” by Greek stoic philosopher, Seneca. I take a while to read books but getting back into it has coincided with a period of band physical and mental health. The whole premise of the book is a compilation of his letters and musings to friends and collaborators on mortality. Generally, preparing yourself to die by being at peace with death to go on and live well and to the fullest. It sounds morbid and sometimes it is, it’s a very sober look into accepting how finite our lives are and practising acceptance for what you can and can’t control.
Lastly for a film, I was going to mention the Whale which I saw recently (and recommend still). Instead, for a tonal shift, Guillermo Del Toro’s Pinocchio is just so astoundingly beautiful and captivating. If you need a break from the bleakness of life, but still want something that feels real and complex, I encourage you to watch this achievement of stop-motion cinema.

Why, as a muso in a few killer bands, is music so important to you?

It is a means to leave a mark, a means to channel something within that people cannot perceive by any other means into something tangible. It is cathartic to make something meaningful or enjoyable for yourself or for other people.

Any final thoughts/messages?

If you can’t get out to shows because life has you bogged down, go and buy bands merch and records. Bands don’t make nearly as much money as they could have before. At least help the bands you love to break even on their efforts!

Thanks Tim and go hard on buying their releases and their amazing merch!!!!!