|Originally supposed to be released in late 2003, Mournful Congregation's latest is finally released on CD and 2LP by their standard release channels, Weird Truth and Painiac.|
The Album contains four tracks, together clocking over 60 minutes, written between 1994 and 2003. The majority of the tracks are from the previous millennium, which means that the songs are more reminiscent of the material on 'Tears From A Grieving Heart' than their recent split with Stabat Mater.
I can characterise this album as having a feel similar to the last album, but with a vastly higher quality. To begin with, the musicianship has improved considerably. Older tracks sometimes had a little off-beat playing, some out-of-tune acoustics here and there, that sort of thing. Nothing disastrous in itself, but these elements are now completely absent. To top it off, the production is crisp, and it has a great bass-heavy overtone.
But, right now, I'll stop dispensing the more mundane information, as this masterpiece - and that it is - deserves a much more in-depth treatment.
'Mother - Water, The Great Sea Wept' is the first stage, and a true musical epic. A long track even for doom (over 18 minutes) it showcases a recognisable Mournful Congregation sound, great riffs and melodies, and wonderful lyrics, with parts taken from Homer's 'Iliad' and H.M. Blavatsky's 'The Book of Dzyan'. It's about the Sea and Moon, and trying to visualise them while the music crashes like waves upon your shores isn't that difficult.
Up next is 'As I Drown In Loveless Rain', lyrically a more 'traditional' piece about a love that is not returned. Written in its entirety in 1994, this is a piece from the very beginning of the 'Congregation, but it is certainly different and much more advanced than the songs on 'Weeping'. 11 minutes of yummy heavy guitar slowness and sad lead melodies.
'When The Weeping Dawn Beheld Its Mortal Thirst' is the obligatory acoustic track that features on each Mournful Congregation album. It consists of a normal backing, but only acoustic guitars as lead. Comparable to 'Empirical Choirs', but much, much better in execution! Lyrically this is a profound spiritual contemplation and a prayer to "The Transcendental". This is one of those songs where the spiritual themes of this band stand out in a wonderful way. The song ends with two minutes of warped prelude to the final and title track of the album.
And there it is, almost 21 minutes in length, 'The Monad Of Creation'. A hymn to the very filament with which the universe is sown together. Here and there, a real Skepticism-vibe pops up, which is a nice surprise and a great development. This song contains some of the best melodies I've ever heard in doom metal, so that should give you an indication of how good it is.
I think I could go on for hours about this album, but I have to call it quits at some point, so let's make it now. When push comes to shove, there are good albums, great ones, and ones that transcend into lonely heights, where only 'classics' can reach. Perhaps this one may not be accessible enough to appeal to all (doom) metal fans and become known enough to be a recognised classic. It is and will remain a classic to me, though, as this is simply one of the best albums in doom in the past few years, and one of the very best I've ever heard. I can't do anything but recommend this to everyone who reads this.
1. Mother - Water, The Great Sea Wept
2. As I Drown In Loveless Rain
3. When The Weeping Dawn Beheld Its Mortal Thirst
4. The Monad Of Creation
Duration : Approx. 61 minutes
Visit the Mournful Congregation bandpage.