Review Summary: A trite offering of doom influenced black metal.
Taking influence from their more depressive black metal counterparts and fusing this with founder Laurent’s doom background in such bands as Inborn Suffering
, Mourning Dawn play a form of black metal that aims to be both sinister and mournful; they do succeed in certain instances, making a decent effort to incorporate the various doom and black styles into a single unified sound, but unfortunately for the band, Mourning Dawn
overall comes off as a tiresome and repetitive album, relatively simple at its most complex and rather boring at its most exciting.
In a reasonably successful way, Mourning Dawn do create a unique portrayal of blackened doom. However, rather than expanding on this throughout the album, the band repeats the same musical ideas constantly, which is then exacerbated by tracks that are far too long. Heavy and permeating riffs are aplenty, along with a complementing side of tremolo picked guitar lines that saturate the soundscape, but it is this same structure which is used incessantly on the album that makes it a tedious listen. There isn’t any shortage of melody, both ominous and gloomy, but a lot of it is very forgettable, not being the sort of depressive music that one can really connect with. There are some shining moments, like the well placed lead guitar line midway through ‘Innocence Leaves’, but in actual fact there is literally nothing that differentiates one song from the other – they all become a single, unmemorable blur.
Making matters worse, any semblance of ‘flow’ is nonexistent on Mourning Dawn
. A quick listen to the first song ‘From the Torrent and the Fountain’ will show the simplicity in Mourning Dawn’s songwriting; the fourteen minute track is like a compilation of different sections just stuck on after each other. To give the band some credit, some of them are quite good, such as the Leviathan
-like rolling guitar lines found in the first two minutes, but every couple of minutes the song slows to a stop and is picked up again by a different riff or melody. Sure, this is a technique used in a variety of different ways in a plethora of different genres, but in the case of Mourning Dawn
it leaves the album feeling disconnected and with a huge absence of fluidity.
Laurent’s work on Inborn Suffering
, as fantastic as it may be, should not contribute to expectations one may have in regarding his work on Mourning Dawn
. How different he sounds is merely a compliment to him as a vocalist, and as much as his raw undecipherable gutturals and screams here suit the music, they can become very irritating. Although sounding pleasantly menacing, his throaty roar begins to dull not even halfway through the album, somewhat due to their nature but also due to the blandness of the music. The production is sort of hollow, and this doesn’t do Laurent any favours in regards to his vocal work. His spoken word, much like his spoken word on Inborn Suffering
, is completely useless.
Ultimately, Mourning Dawn
is a bland album. There are plenty of good ideas floating around its hour length, but none of these shape up into anything substantial. Commendation must be given for the band’s attempt at tackling what is really a difficult fusion of genres to be successful in, but even this does not save the album from being insipid and rather tasteless.