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Sencezium : In Mourning's Symphony

An interesting first album from Sencezium, but one that never fully delivers its atmospheric potential.

Formed in Istanbul in 2016, this 2017 release represents Sencezium's first full-length album. With some impressive artwork on the cd cover featuring bare trees and a bruised, brooding sky, it's certainly a nicely packaged first release for these Turkish avant garde instrumentalists. It's a cover fitting for a bludgeoning, sorrowful Trad Doom album to stir our spirits and punish our speakers. And if that's the sort of thing you're looking for, then I'm afraid 'In Mourning's Symphony' is not the release for you. It has an air of melancholy, a certain undercurrent of barely suppressed darkness, but it is ultimately a delicate and subtle affair that is largely driven by piano effects rather than guitar.

Initially taken somewhat by surprise by the understated delicacy of Sencezium's sound, I settled down to listen to what proved to be a strange, sometimes interesting, often frustrating, and largely un-Doomlike journey. The album sets the scene with an intro track just over a minute long featuring sombre string effects and a classical feel that effectively builds a sense of tension. Of course, this is not uncommon on Doom albums; in fact, such intros are often immediately followed up by a brutal, pounding riff and a raucous bellowed vocal, thus creating a sense of contrast and light and shade. Well, that kind of approach is eschewed in favour of a continuation of essentially more of the same on the second, and subsequent tracks. The whole album, in fact.

Guitar is used sparingly, and, on a number of tracks, is completely absent. Immediately following the scene-setting intro, title track, 'In Mourning's Symphony', is a sparse, sombre affair, largely played out with drums and piano effects; a kind of melancholy Post-rock Drone that is affecting to a degree, but never really gets going. This is followed by a series of tracks that essentially merge together into one evolving post-rock dirge of plaintive, delicate noise. Listened to in its entirety in one sitting, it's possible to get a sense of the aural journey Sencezium have tried to create, as tension, and a rising sense of foreboding - the feeling of a storm about to break - builds as the album approaches the halfway point. The storm however, never arrives. The clouds part, and drift aimlessly away as the album finishes without ever unleashing the kind of power that simmers beneath the sparse piano notes and moody synth effects, but, alas, never really materialises.

'In Mourning's Symphony' is an interesting first album with some affecting moments of melancholy, but ultimately it never quite fully delivers on its early promise. A promising debut, but perhaps an opportunity missed.

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Reviewer's rating: 6/10


Tracklist :
1. Intro
2. In Mourning's Symphony
3. Inside
4. Emotion
5. Never Ending Hope
6. My Lost Soul
7. Sun Rises From The Horizon
8. All Hope Is Pleading
9. Ashes And Bones
10. Omay For Hope
11. Kai Kojong (AltKai cover)
12. Disappearing Hopes
13. Flowing Storm
14. In The Heart Of Rain
15. Outro

Duration : Approx. 50 minutes

Visit the Sencezium bandpage.

Reviewed on 2018-05-20 by Nick Harkins
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