Review Summary: Although bordering on standard death/doom, Mournful Gust deliver an album that is accessible, enjoyable, and well made.
My initial thoughts of Mournful Gust’s The Frankness Eve
were rather dubious. Naturally, having low expectations coming into the album may have influenced my afterthoughts, but I was duly impressed by what the death/doom band had to offer. Very much abiding by every cliché in the sub-genre’s book, the band still manages to keep a sense of individuality from amongst their peers. Nevertheless, as much as it starts off strongly, the album dips in quality in particular instances, seemingly becoming repetitive towards the second half. This is not so much a result of the band’s songwriting, which is far from bland, rather a slight excess of a good thing; the album drags on longer than it should.
Beginning with ‘A Pain to Remember’, Mournful Gust make no mistakes. One of the better tracks on the album, the song immediately introduces us to vocalist Vladislav Shahin, the star of the show. As the song opens, Shahin lets loose a low growl, which sits very comfortably with the backing melody; an all too common thing on the album, and a significant factor behind its success. Furthermore, unlike other death/doom bands that rely on good gutturals to take our attention off terribly weak singing, Mournful Gust take pride in Shahin’s singing abilities. ‘It’s Our Own Tragedy’, entirely void of growls, shows off Shahin’s grasp over his voice. Deep and sonorous, his voice has a commanding presence, making a fantastic song out of a musically weak track. This interplay between his growls and singing continues throughout the album, and provides for an enticing experience.
Mournful Gust rarely stray from the sound that they establish with ‘A Pain to Remember’. Although becoming somewhat formulaic, the band sticks to it and do the best they can with what they have. In terms of songwriting, the band does not excel as much as one would hope; nevertheless, there is a feeling of authenticity emanating from the sextet. This can be seen through the various melodies that are found on the album; hailing from Ukraine, the band have allowed the influence of their home country’s traditional music to seep into The Frankness Eve
. It remains subtle, yet gives the album an edge that makes it all the more appealing.
There is an inherent smoothness about Mournful Gust’s music; the production is lush, and the use of layered synths gives it a very uniform fluidity, only matched by the very best of death/doom. This comes with a downside however, in the fact that although being a consistent album, there were no moments which really sat me on my arse. Moments of brutality on Inborn Suffering’s Wordless Hope
, or a desolate melody on Mourning Beloveth’s The Sullen Sulcus
gave these albums an exciting touch, and kept me coming back for more. The Frankness Eve
is relatively tame in comparison, but still manages to hold its own. For fans of Hanging Garden, Inborn Suffering and DOOM:VS.