Monday, August 1, 2011

Mournful Congregation - The June Frost

Full Length, Weird Truth

The mere mention of the words funeral doom evokes a bag of mixed reactions amongst most people. Whilst most of them discard the style by tagging it as repetitive, tasteless and boring; there are a few of them who surprisingly get elated by this somber and despaired style of extreme metal. Well, if you fall amongst the former, then please stop reading this review NOWbecause this album would fail miserably to provide you an erotic eargasm. Whereas the other half certainly need to keep their eyes wide open to read this essay about Australia’s finest persecutors of doom – Mournful Congregation.
Caution: Bleak, cold and densely atmospheric passages of gloom await you as you hit the press button of the album. There are total eight songs clocking just a little over an hour, which are highly capable of freezing the pace of time. Do not listen to this album in a hurry and DO NOT even think of committing the sin of hearing this casually! You ought to be in the right frame of mind and mood to digest and appreciate the band’s musical craftsmanship.
‘‘The June Frost’‘ is equivalent to an impressionist painting from the 19th century. Just how the changing movements of light were captured on the canvas, Mournful Congregation have captured the alterations of the human mind and soul, with the changing pace of life on their epic canvas of doom. The essence of their form of art is that there are no colors being used except for white and gray. These strokes have been applied in such a suave manner that their shimmer enraptures the sub-conscious corners of your mind and takes them to a surreal voyage to the abyssal voids of human contempt and hopelessness.
Mournful Congregation truly possess a sound of their own. They do not simply emphasize upon highly monotonous and unstimulating droning rhythms, but they actually make use of deftly etched musicianship, in a very delicate manner. Another unique element in their music is the addition of a third guitar which provides an even heavier and monolithic dimension to their brand of doom metal.
A mixture of beautiful clean leads with heavy droning riffs, with subtle amount of progression is what the band likes to offer their listeners with. The amount of atmosphere which these sounds conjure is absolutely colossal! Damon makes use of deep gutturals and whispered/spoken vocals to narrate his introspective and philosophical poetry which blends perfectly with the music. As far as the drums are concerned, they are slooow and appropriate to the guitar rhythms.
After hearing this CD for a gazillion times, I feel confident enough to express my belief that each track on the album is a masterpiece, with some of the best lyrical and musical content you would ever hear in this style of extreme music. It is just not clichéd talks about depression or cutting your veins, but a glorious depiction of the painful and most innate expressions of the human mind. Tracks like ‘‘Suicide Choir’‘, ‘‘White Cold Wrath Burnt Frozen Blood and ‘‘A Slow March to the Burial’‘ are majestic descriptions of the feeling of human loss and separation while ‘‘White ‘‘Descent of the Flames’‘ is an enthralling depiction of the arrival of dusk, in a beautifully poetic manner.
The instrumental/ambient tracks are also very well executed and arranged at the right intervals. ‘‘A Slow March to the Burial’‘ beckons the inception of this epic journey with its dreary ambiance created with the sound of church bells. ‘‘The June Frost’‘ adds an exquisite element to the album with its acoustic passages and hypnotic melodies.’‘The Februar Winds’‘ is another ambient piece which is very simple yet elegant and mystical in nature. Finally ‘‘The Wreath’‘ provides a crepuscular closure to this monumental album.
Conclusion: Well folks, if you dig your doom slow, heavy and really atmospheric, then this IS the perfect recipe for you to devour. But remember that ‘‘Doom is for those whose hearts beat slower’‘. If yours does the same, then The June Frost is going to welcome you in a grand manner, only to drown your senses in a vast pool of melancholy and spiritual meditation.
Funereal, we march! Funereal, we march!
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