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Mournful Gust : She's My Grief... Decade

Mournful Gust is some case in the Russian Doom scene. First, because it is almost the first band of its kind to emerge on the Doom scene in 1999. Secondly, because their music is very special. Mournful Gust never hid the pleasure they get in mixing very diverse genres, and this reissue of their debut album (released on cassette in 2001) demonstrates that.

The first CD is the album 'She's My Grief’. What is on: sophisticated Gothic/Doom with alternating male/female voice, flute and keyboards, melodic solos overflowing on a Doom/Death rythmic - sometimes bringing to mind to the early efforts of Dream Theater - while not hesitating at times to navigate into purely Folk/Viking Metal but without ever sounding like a late night of the german Oktoberfest. More like a country fest under the Tsars.

Feelings are perfectly rendered; that typical melancholy that I tend to associate with the Slavic soul is fully present and shows up in the various songs without never sounding cliché while avoiding the trap of repetition. When you see the conditions under which the album was originally recorded, and with the limited equipment available to the band, you are amazed by the fact that a simple sound lifting is enough to challenge the modern releases. Another positive surprise: the singer speaks with a really good english accent; many Russian bands scarcely master that somewhat exotic language.

The second CD is made of unreleased tracks, under the appellation '... Decade'. There are four demo versions of tracks that have been released on the second 2005 album, 'The Frankness Eve': A bit more sophisticated than what can be found on 'She's My Grief’ ", the music is still pure Gothic/Doom: note, however, the appearance of excellent clear male vocal lines. It is thus relatively calm, yet sad. You also find the clip of 'With Every Suffering', the full-set with all genre’s clichés (marble statue, young girl in white silk, lake, derelict castle, all filmed in black and white)…

And finally, the remixes. These are very good, even if they may hurt the sensitivity of pure Metal fans. 'The First Dream Without You' is reworked in a Dream/House version; 'I Saw Her Sad Eyes' is pure Slavic folk music when 'The Cold Solitude' gets a ‘Goa’ treatment at first, then an acoustic version. This will require some open mind to get into this part of the disc but, as unusal as these exercises are, the remixes are all successful and interesting.

This new edition allows you to rediscover a great band that unfortunately went somewhat unnoticed in our countries. What is amazing when you see the western approval rating of Autumnia, the other band of Mournful Gust’s singer and guitarist. Anyway, if you are looking for an album that is both quiet and melancholic, get this 'She's My Grief ... Decade': in the genre, it is a little gem that deserves your interest.

Reviewer's rating: Unrated


Tracklist :
Disc 1
1. The First Spring Without You
2. Path Of My Tears
3. Once We Were Happy
4. Sweet Embrace Of Scarlet Twilight
5. I Saw Her Sad Eyes
6. As A Wingless Bird
7. ...And We Shall Die Together

Disc 2
1. A Pain To Remember (demo version)
2. It's Our Own Tragedy (demo version)
3. To Your Deceits... Again (demo version)
4. The First Spring Without You (Somnolent version)
5. I Saw Her Sad Eyes (Stas Mischenko version)
6. The Cold Solitude (Soundform & Practical Senses version)
7. The Cold Solitude (Alexander Naydenov version)
8. The Cold Solitude (demo version)
9. With Every Suffering (Video Clip)

Duration : Approx. 107 minutes

Visit the Mournful Gust bandpage.

Reviewed on 10-09-2010 by Laurent Lignon
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