“If you like Metallica for their noise, if the sick-f*ck appeal of Butthole Surfers turns you on, if you’re the sort that shivers with pleasure at Nick Cave’s neurotic growl, and if you demand more from all of these, for you the choice is clear… La Muerte.”
MELODY MAKER, 1986
“Conjuring extreme, horrifying images of death, addiction, the road and urban violence glued to putrid rock ‘n’ roll and manic – depressive blues – rock , La Muerte released a string of cult albums and EPs through the 80s and early 90s, which heavily resonated with those abandoned by love or devoid of hope. Even the devil’s rejects found refuge in La Muerte‘s growling, howling, stop/start frenzy, and feedback shivers of guitar burning through the dark cracks of life.”
PRECURSORS AND INVENTORS. HATED. DESPISED BUT SOMETIMES, PRAISED…
Founded in Brussels in 1983, La Muerte’s mythical reign over the Belgian Underground came to a grinding halt in 1994. Yet across those years and in the archives/subversive litanies of revered cult heroes, comparisons wherever La Muerte were concerned would fluctuate riotously. Almost as wildly in fact as the music they produced; from i-D to Sounds, Melody Maker to NME, La Muerte became best-known for peddling alternative metal and discordant noise, like an inebriated midnight melee between Motörhead, Velvet Underground, The Birthday Party and Butthole Surfers.
With the exception of the odd release here and there, for the best part of two decades; the band, their history and their legacy lay dormant. But in March 2015, La Muerte made a surprising and hugely successful return with a sold-out show at one of Brussels most historic concert halls, the Ancienne Belgique. Billed as the missing link between Salvador Dali and The Stooges, the band re-emerged with founding members Marc du Marais and Dee-J, and were joined onstage by a razor sharp intake of new blood in Michel Kirby (Arkangel, Wolvennest, Length of Time), Christian Z. (Length of Time) and Tino de Martino (Channel Zero).
Their first show in over twenty years kickstarted a run of appearances and surge in invitations to prestigious events across Belgium and beyond, and the band appeared at the likes of Roadburn Festival, Helldorado, Impetus Festival, Dour Festival, Graspop Metal Meeting, Lokerse Feesten, BSF and Desertfest in Antwerp.
At the Les Nuits du Botanique in 2016, La Muerte even curated their own headlining night and appeared as special guests beside Iggy Pop’s band at the screening of Gutterdammerung, in a second sold out show at the Ancienne Belgique.
The Popes of the Belgian Underground were very much reborn anew.
Since their return, La Muerte have issued no less than four releases; EViL, a 2015 live album recorded at their comeback show, two 12” EPs and most recently, a limited edition, fan-only 7” single. With the continued support of Belgian label Mottow Soundz, the band’s 2016’s Record Store Day Exclusive, Murder Machine EP, was the first to bear fruits from the studio with the new, revamped line-up. While 2017’s Headhunter EP, witnessed a reunion with faithful friends and Front 242 members, Richard 23 and Patrick Codneys.
Following a short sabbatical to work on new material and numerous side projects, this December will see the official worldwide release of La Muerte’s self-titled album. Where previous releases were restricted by the pressures of time, the band spent as much of it as possible in the studio, recording approximately twenty-five songs before eventually culling the set down to a measured and maniacal ten. Mastered by Alan Douches (Motorhead, Mastodon) and both mixed and enriched by the contribution of black metal specialist, Déhà, the album captures La Muerte’s sonic identity and searing live experience. Raw, heavy, authentic and aggressive, without compromise La Muerte is aural proof that Belgium’s most sulphurous band are more than just a one-night stand.
La Muerte’s self-titled album will be released on 7th December 2018 on Mottow Soundz on special gatefold CD and LP, as well as on all digital platforms. Pre-order all versions here – https://www.mottowsoundz.com/la-muerte-lsd/
Stream and share new song ‘LSD for the Holy Man’ below:
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“It’s clear that this bunch are well clear of the general plagiaristic progeny, having inherited not only the full fierceness but some of the sins of their fathers […] Given the hyperbole that’s splattered over these pages on behalf of insipid but self-important bands you may not believe this review. But take my word for it. You will not believe this record.”
NEW MUSICAL EXPRESS
“La Muerte could become Belgium’s answer to the Ramones, as copious amounts of fun are revealed on this LP […] it should appeal to punkers, goths and metallists. It’s good to hear a singer who gargles with Domestos every morning.”
FOR THE RECORD (UK)
“La Muerte, a Belgium band are part of this new mutation. They have concocted a dubious aural cocktail entitled ‘The Surrealist Mystery’. All kinds of kultural kross references kaleidoscope; Nick C meets Jimi Experience for an after-hours chemistry lesson down at Alice in Wonderland on a stormy Monday night; Jeff Beck jamming with the Scientists at a Fillmore kool-aid acid test.”
“La Muerte are Beligium’s biggest group, and inhabit a world of chainsaw guitar, mannered vocals and space […] It’s their use of space that makes the guitar sound powerful.”