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Mourning Dawn : Waste (EP)

Mourning Dawn's experimental concept EP absolutely delivers on its unusual promise and premise.

Even before the brutal onslaught of 'Waste' begins to sound from your speakers, the cd packaging gives an indication of the bleak despair that awaits the listener. The front and back cover feature stark, monochrome images of ruin and corrosion; abandoned buildings, decayed children's toys hint at the agony and desolation that lies within. Further images of decay await within the pages of the booklet inside, with each picture featuring a random snippet of lyrics on it. Some in English, some in French, but always bleak: 'The higher are my hopes, The deeper are my wounds' and 'Too many tomorrows behind, I'm already dead'. The uncompromising artwork and opaque lyrical fragments are intriguing, and, once the music begins, compliment it effectively as an artistic statement.

The concept behind this EP is something this reviewer has certainly never encountered before: 'Waste' consists of three tracks, each one 24 minutes long, with first track 'The One I Never Was' and second track 'The One I'll Never Be' overlaid to form the unholy 'Waste (The Deconstruction Of A Human Being)'. It's a fascinating idea, and one that keeps the listener engaged throughout in anticipation of the final 'deconstruction'. It's a journey that is unrelenting, and, at times, harrowing.

'The One I Never Was' begins with an ominous drone and a discordant industrial clang before unleashing a harsh, agonised vocal laced with pain and suffering. It's deep, dark and affecting, with a repetitive, mesmeric quality that draws you into its desperate, damaged world. Tempos change often, switching from slow, gut churning Doom to frenetic blasts of desolate rage before slowing back down. There are Post-Metal elements too, with sparse, melancholy passages, and a spoken word interlude in French that adds a flourish of poetic artistry amongst the crushing brutality. As the first part of this unholy trilogy pounds to a close, the repetition of 'The higher are my hopes, The deeper are my wounds' over and over is despairing and quite affecting as singer Laurent reaches remarkable levels of emotional intensity.

If anything, epic second track, 'The One I'll Never Be' ratchets up the Doom despair even further. Perhaps the realisation that you'll never be something you want to be is more bitter than accepting that you never have been something in the past? Either way, there are some truly harrowing moments here. Building slowly with an incredible sense of dread, the tempo gradually speeds up to a hypnotic, repetitive crescendo that draws you into Mourning Dawn's fearful landscape. After a spoken word interlude, the racking sobs of a woman in great emotional distress brings a shocking and uncomfortable period that is difficult to listen to, but, nevertheless, impossible to turn off. Like a rabbit caught in the headlights of an oncoming vehicle, the terrible destructive fury of the music is such that to attempt escape at this point would be futile.

'Waste' is a journey that must be finished; one that will leave you moved, perhaps a little unsettled. But you will not remain unchanged; it will draw you into its bleak world and touch your own heart of darkness. The final amalgamation of 'Waste (The Deconstruction Of A Human Being)' is more than the sum of its parts, and ensures that this very clever concept works brilliantly; everything is harder, darker, more brutal, bringing the EP to a breathless conclusion. Mourning Dawn have produced a masterclass in original, unwavering Doom, delivered with extraordinary heartfelt sorrow and admirable artistry in every department. It's challenging, it's harrowing, and it's something you should hear.

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Reviewer's rating: 9.5/10


Tracklist :
1. The One I Never Was
2. The One I'll Never Be
3. Waste (The Deconstruction Of A Human Being)

Duration : Approx. 73 minutes

Visit the Mourning Dawn bandpage.

Reviewed on 2017-04-25 by Nick Harkins
Thermal Mass
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