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Mohraang : Underworld Of Khorrendus

An atmospheric and monolithic Funeral Doom debut that pulls off its dedicated sparseness with aplomb.

Mohraang (a name that sounds like a large piece of metal being struck) is another dark and moody one man project from Russia, who last year released their first, and so far only, record. Released on CD by Endless Winter (a label whose 'Only Doom Metal Label' motto always seemed incredulous given, you know, all the other Doom Metal labels, until I realised they were probably trying to state that they only do Doom Metal, which is a laudable aim), 'Underworld Of Khorrendus', is a 33 minute fullish-length slice of atmospheric Dark Ambient Doom. The 6 tracks are all unnamed, and flow together seamlessly as a complete piece.

The CD artwork pre-empts a theme of minimalistic darkness, with a four page booklet all in black and dark greys, the slightly naff cover artwork complimented by not one, but three different band logos of various derivative styles. Fortunately, I am not an art critic, but just a music fan who occasionally gets set loose on a word processor, and in this case, the music, whilst keeping with the sparse and blackened atmospheres leaves the slightly shaky qualities of the presentation behind.

The first record that came to mind as a comparison is Goatpsalms last release 'Downstream' as it shares some similar elements of slow and atmospheric bleak soundscapes and percussion. 'Underworld Of Khorrendus' is far more stripped back however, down to the basics of fizzy guitars, 80's reverbed drums, and simplistic synth pad sounds that work mainly to pad (go figure!) out the overall sound. Think 'Stream From The Heavens' if Thergothon had turned their flanger pedal off so make the record sound truly heavy. As anybody who knows about music production will tell you, sparse music is much easier to mix in a way that retains space and dynamic variation, and as a result this is a record that really shines when played loud, the space in the mix letting every sub-bass sound and floortom/guitar chug resonate through your spine.

If you are a fan of all that is slow, simplistic and sparse (interestingly that is my precise definition of Funeral Doom - although the term has now been applied to so many bands that play fast bits that it has lost all meaning) then I would definitely give Mohraang a try. 'Underworld Of Khorrendus'is not horrendous, in fact it is quite enjoyable for fans Skepticism, Thergothon, Comatose Vigil and the like. Just don't go expecting any kind of variation on mood and atmosphere, as 'Underworld Of Khorrendus' is quite intentionally monolithic in its dedication to a single sound - and when it pulls it off so expertly, who am I to complain?

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Reviewer's rating: 8/10


Tracklist :
Part I
Part II
Part III
Part IV
Part V
Part VI

Duration : Approx. 33 minutes

Visit the Mohraang bandpage.

Reviewed on 2017-07-23 by Kris Clayton
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