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The Morningside : The Wind The Trees And The Shadows Of The Past

The Morningside's music sits there, on the border between folk Metal and mournful modern Doom Metal.

At the time that I'm writing this, the review is long overdue. This is mostly due to a long standing argument that I have with myself. How does one go about describing The Morningside? Well, for starters they're from Moscow, Russia, and this is their debut album. I also find that it's justifiable to claim that they're the most promising band within the "lodge metal" (i.e. metal fit to give the feeling of being in a lodge far into the forest) genre since Agalloch created it. To be even more specific, the whole album has the cosy fireplace atmosphere of 'The Mantle', the title song from Agalloch's 2002 album. However, unlike Agalloch there are very few, if any, black metal elements to find on 'The Wind The Trees And The Shadows Of The Past'. There are some melodic doom/death metal elements in the vein of Novembers Doom, but these Russians have taken this style to a whole new level of folkiness. Their music sits there, on the border between folk metal and mournful modern doom metal. At least I feel safe to claim that Agalloch enthusiasts have much to look forward to from these guys.

The male vocals are soft and clean, which reminds me of yet another band with strong similarities to The Morningside: the Finnish folk/ambient band Tenhi. It is in particular the calmness and serenity of The Morningside's music which grants me these strong associations to Tenhi. That might also be why 'The Mantle' is the Agalloch album which comes first to mind when 'The Wind The Trees And The Shadows Of The Past' emanates softly from my speakers.

Most important to these ears is the music's aura; it's what ties these three bands together. Even in the warmest summer you can close your eyes, giving in to the images of a warm mountain cottage. To me it even grants a slight chill along the backbones, as if the cold winds howling outside the timber walls stirs to life some memory of freezing in the marrow. Without actually hearing these gusts outside the mind, I find this to be an impressive musical feat.

Needless to say I find that this band will reach far if they continue to put the same effort and finesse, as they've done here, into their future works. For the romantic doomster who likes music that moves you from the inside, this is a must have. That is also the case for anyone who likes folk influenced doom metal, for example Kauan or Aarni. In fact I'm so enthusiastic about this album that it's perhaps better if you looked up the band yourself and see if I'm merely talking out of fandom...

Reviewer's rating: Unrated


Tracklist :
1. Intro
2. The Wind
3. The Trees
4. The Shadows Of The Past
5. Outro

Duration : Approx. 40 minutes.

Visit the The Morningside bandpage.

Reviewed on 19-02-2009 by Arnstein Petersen
Hate Your Guts Records
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