Pat Murano’s Decimus project has been all over the map in the past few years, undertaking a massive effort to put out a series of 12 albums in accordance with the zodiac of Decimus Magnus Ausonius. Previous to this Murano was perhaps best known as one of the founding members of No Neck Blues Band, K-Salvatore, & Malkuth, but it is with Decimus that the full story finally unfolds. With 11, Murano is going schizo and taking you down a hellish aural rabbit hole, deep into the abyss.
I’m not exaggerating when I say this might be the weirdest record we’ve ever put out on Digitalis. 11 opens with layers of looped, rusty-sounding strings mashed together with slowed down, death-rattle vocals. With buried crunch rhythms peaking out from the morass, the whole effect is like wandering through a funeral procession through a post-apocalyptic metropolis. Everything moves rapidly until it doesn’t. Murano slows things to a crawl, pushing the demonic howl under a pane of glass. Blown-out minimal beats emerge to carry the bones along, but it feels like the worst is inevitable and there’s no place to go but down.
And that’s when Murano pulls the rug out from beneath. Solemn guitar chords are plucked like feathers, mourning the loss of the sun but never losing faith entirely. Of course, that’s just a tease because just as abruptly as it appears, the section is destroyed and replaced by sharp synth stabs and manipulated tribal death marches. Everything has a crunch to it. 11 sounds like an album that was found in a sandy tomb. It’s simultaneously ancient and still looking forward. The whole album is so disorienting and disfigured that it’s oddly beautiful.
The thing about this installment in the Decimus saga is how much of story it tells. Murano deftly jumps from one chapter to another, throwing so many ideas and styles into the cauldron and spitting out something that flows like magic. This is the soundtrack for modern times, in all its ugly glory.