Album review: Vnder A Crvmbling Moon – II: Aging And Formless

Second phase from British prog-doom experimentalists Vnder A Crvmbling Moon shines even brighter than the first…

Album review: Vnder A Crvmbling Moon – II: Aging And Formless
Nick Ruskell

Vnder A Crvmbling Moon aren’t in a rush to get anywhere. The work of former members of Conjurer and excellent doomsters Garganjua, their vast prog-doom takes shape with all the hurry of astral deterioration, forming itself over the course of songs that more often than not spiral beyond nine minutes, etching and chipping into place until they reach their gargantuan final shape. This isn’t merely down to tempo (although that’s not really a concern for them, either), but in the way each riff and section is explored and played through as if examining its possibilities from multiple angles, properly giving them space to breathe and grow at its own pace.

Take opener Nomad, which spends a good five minutes kneading its riff into shape, growing growing growing, until it breaks. By this point, it’s been layered and played with so much it takes a moment to realise underneath the different rhythms and layered guitars and flashes of piano and heaviness, it’s still the same building blocks at its root. This is Vnder A Crvmbling Moon’s great talent, to take a riff and colour it with melody and rhythm and make it do a thousand things to wonderful effect.

On Nocturnal Passenger, a simple riff is teased into an enormous wall of sound. Breach The Sky, meanwhile, takes a turn toward something a bit more Paradise Lost, while The Breathing Of Monsters lumbers ahead on a riff that could compress a diamond. All of it, from the most thundering moments to the atmospheric interludes, are allowed to flow just so at their own pace, and stand all the taller for it.

The only thing they’re not taking their time about is productivity, this being Vnder A Crvmbling Moon’s second release in a year. Hopefully their third phase comes around before the next blue moon.

Verdict: 4/5

For fans of: YOB, Amenra, Conjurer

II: Aging And Formless is out now via Ripcord

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