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Mourning Beloveth : The Sullen Sulcus

Most of you might remember that I gave a lot of praise to the self-financed debut release 'Dust' of these Irish doomsters. That debut got re-released on the Sentinel Records label, with a demo track and a new track as bonus. That new track, 'It Almost Looked Human', appears on this album, among five other excellent tracks. It is quite common that an album contains a few high quality songs, among a few standard and substandard tracks. In this case, I can honestly say that all songs are from an equally great level.

With an average of eleven minutes per track, slow tempo, mournful guitar melodies and slow pounding drums, this entire release breathes doom from the first till the last second. The style is comparable to 'Dust' although the band clearly evolved considerably. A hammering full sound (excellent work done in the Academy Studios, with Mags again), much more daring clean (and background) singing, even some distorted screams on the background during 'My Sullen Sulcus', creating an effect vaguely reminding of experimental stuff like Esoteric. It is close to incredible how much this band has matured over so little time. Their songwriting skills have improved seriously as well. Whereas some people might have been sceptic over the work done on the compositions of 'Dust', I'm confident they will have to revise their opinions with this new release. It's difficult to point out even a single weak moment.

The artwork from this CD has a warm, glowing red colour in common. As if the album is bleeding along the music. Lyrics are more abstract than on their debut, and more abstract than most of their fellow scene mates. Which leaves them open to a lot of interpretation, which I am not going to try here. Recurring theme in both lyrics and artwork is the typical curled form of the brain (see 'sulcus'). The rest is up to each of you individually.

With this album, Mourning Beloveth has created a definite sound of their own, despite their influences and idols. The constant dialogue is sometimes surprisingly clear, very slow guitar melodies (not hidden behind a wall of pure distortion, although having all the needed volume) are this band's trademark. The dual vocal styles on top, especially with Darren's excellent grunts, is the perfect topping for this very tasty doom release. Between my sneak listening on the occasion of the interview 5 months ago and now, the album has only been growing on me. Fans of doom death metal should not hesitate a single second. This album is one very early nomination for the top 5 lists of 2003. Strongly recommended.

Reviewer's rating: Unrated


Tracklist :
1. The Words that Crawle
2. It Almost Looked Human
3. The Insolent Caul
4. Narcissistic Funeral
5. My Sullen Sulcus
6. Anger's Steaming Arrows

Duration : Approx. 65 minutes

Visit the Mourning Beloveth bandpage.

Reviewed on ??-??-???? by Arnstein H. Pettersen
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