Mournful Congregation
The Incubus of Karma


4.5
superb

Review

by Robert Garland CONTRIBUTOR (266 Reviews)
March 29th, 2018 | 80 replies


Release Date: 2018 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The soundtrack to the very demise of life, filled with rage, filled with hope. The Incubus of Karma speaks volumes.

The slow, ever present sound of entrapment seeps through your fibres. The feeling is subtle, but completely unwavering. It doesn’t matter that you can’t identify the source or even find solace in your confinement. The feeling presses, intensifies and makes you consider every dormant moment that precedes that one undeniable feeling. The oppression is real, malignant and forever confronting. It’s this feeling that keeps you from sleep or even knowing if you’re awake. After a while your senses burn with questions: Is this real" Am I alive" How does this end, if it even ends at all"

It’s been seven long years since Mournful Congregation graced us with an audible form of their signature funeral doom. This (largely) Australian act reaffirm why they sit squarely on the proverbial mountain top while their subordinate’s bring cups filled with the darkest of red wines and pay homage to a sound that is undeniably Mournful Congregation. Simply put, The Incubus Of Karma is an eighty minute long testament to all the best that funeral doom metal has to offer this decade, continuing the band’s doom supremacy found within their last release, The Book Of Kings. The music is typically slow, expansive and swirls with the type of melancholic oppression found only in your everyday Mournful Congregation album. After a six tracked peregrination, The Incubus Of Karma positively exhausts the listener with a virtuosic, well-written compositional force, revelling in the near-daunting run time and the majesty of the band’s ever-present atmospheric nuances. Mournful Congregation’s 2018 tome treats listeners’ with one of the year’s strongest records to date while building on the foundations of the past.

It’s important to look back at the band’s previous releases. It further allows you to appreciate the sheer gravity and the fall or rise of a band’s path, better understanding what “the now” is. For most, this means a winding journey through the band’s back catalogue. For fans, the feeling is still fresh even after a seven year wait. The Book Of Kings spoke great lengths of the band’s musical direction. The album shed light on the variable direction Mournful Congregation would inevitably take; stripping back on the layers by taking a “less is more” approach to their compositions. Now with The Incubus Of Karma achieving a melodic scope on the trademark dirge the band’s direction is clear and reaching, complemented by warm acoustic sections and almost cavernous spoken word.

For those familiar with Mournful Congregation’s typical soundscape, simple descriptions become sweeping terms, just falling short of achieving hyperbole. It’s descriptors like this that are unable to fully define the actual sound the band portrays, never coming close to providing the perfect descriptor for the unwavering atmosphere that permeates from the speakers. It’s also clear that new listeners would also fail to see any matter of words on a page and run parallels with what The Incubus Of Karma actually is. Even as one track rolls into the next, there’s always a need to pull one or two songs out as a highlight. The album’s title track is a certain highlight, bridging a world of oppressive doom with warm melodic leads. The track itself lends to the possibility of being the band’s finest single composition, even though it’s clearly shorter than the usual Mournful Congregation fair. As a whole it’s worth noting that this time around this Australian act has opted for shorter tracks (don’t worry there’s still a twenty minute mammoth composition closing the album). It allows the album to be more cohesive, stripped back while maintaining the atmospheric depth found on all the band’s full lengths. At the same time The Incubus Of Karma becomes almost minimalist in nature, but only slightly in comparison to the group’s naturally massive sound.

Overall it’s hard to pen just how The Incubus Of Karma will make each listener feel, assuming they can reach past the void found within their soul. From the opening notes of “The Indwelling Ascent” to the closing tomes of “A Picture Of The Devouring Gloom Devouring the Spears Of Being” Damon Good has achieved a new level in his deep and meaningful verses. If it wasn’t for his near apocalyptic delivery growling his way through a world built on powerful riffs, beautiful lead work and perfectly presented spoken word. As a whole The Incubus Of Karma is refined but massive, highlighting the fact that Mournful Congregation is one of doom’s leading acts while also showcasing another contender for 2018’s album of the year.



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user ratings (77)
Chart.
3.9
excellent
other reviews of this album
Marehelm (4.5)
Is there even primal matter to receive in this world?...



Comments:Add a Comment 
Nocte
Contributing Reviewer
March 29th 2018


9289 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Typed this up on my phone, let me know if you see something : ]

Hawks
March 29th 2018


67478 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Nice. m/ m/ m/

Digging: Macabre Omen - Gods Of War - At War

Marehelm
March 29th 2018


787 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Awesome review my man

AdolfChrist
March 29th 2018


19565 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

holy fuck, thats a lot of writing for a phone.

Digging: Two People - First Body

bgillesp
March 29th 2018


6571 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Awesome review, jamming now and loving it so far. Impressive you typed this on a phone, haha. Here's a couple things I caught though.

"Buy" to "By". "Retrospectively, it's important to look back." Is redundant

Digging: Grateful Dead - Anthem of the Sun

Nocte
Contributing Reviewer
March 29th 2018


9289 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Thanks bgillesp, I’ve found a couple things that need addressing also. Thanks for pointing those out : ]



I did cheat slightly, I’ve got google docs app on my phone but it’s still nowhere as consistent as having a proper screen in front of you

parksungjoon
March 29th 2018


9049 Comments


Ipod bro ur a trooper man, I fucking hate typing on a phone

parksungjoon
March 29th 2018


9049 Comments


Gr8 rev mindpos

Bet this mourns hard

Nocte
Contributing Reviewer
March 29th 2018


9289 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5



Parks, I was stuck at work on my breaks during the week and added a para here and a para there. Definitely not my fave process, especially for an album of this magnitude. I didn’t even really touch on the the music as much as I wanted to but I’m still sorta happy about it

MarsKid
March 29th 2018


8480 Comments


There are probably a few grammatical thingies here and there. But overall solid as expected from you

As someone who usually doesn't dig doom, would this sway me over?

Digging: Avantasia - Moonglow

parksungjoon
March 29th 2018


9049 Comments


i dont know if its possible to make the subgenre of funeral doom accessible

but then agian i havent heard this yet so

AdolfChrist
March 29th 2018


19565 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

No, this probably wouldnt change any minds.

MarsKid
March 29th 2018


8480 Comments


One of the few (or only) doom albums that snagged me was Despond by Loss, I dunno if this is comparable or not

AdolfChrist
March 29th 2018


19565 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

When you say doom are you talking about funeral doom or doom as a whole?

MarsKid
March 29th 2018


8480 Comments


As a whole, to be honest. Only Loss and Pallbearer have clicked for me. Far as I know Loss was classified as 'funeral doom'

It's admittedly a genre I haven't thoroughly explored, but it tends to drag a tad much for me.

Nocte
Contributing Reviewer
March 29th 2018


9289 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I don’t know if this would be your thing, even eventually. Have you tried the Eye Of Solitude/Clouds type of death/doom? Otherwise there’s the Elysian Blaze for the longer style of the death/doom format - just watch for the reverb.

parksungjoon
March 29th 2018


9049 Comments


"but it tends to drag a tad much for me."

it namesake tempo is kind of the whole idea

CaptainDooRight
March 29th 2018


2639 Comments


def enjoyed this

AdolfChrist
March 29th 2018


19565 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Doom is a pretty big genre. Youve got bands like Mournful Congregation and Loss doing funeral doom, youve got death/doom like Hooded Menace and Cianide, youve got the Sabbathian stuff like Sleep and Electric Wizard, then theres the post metal/sludge influenced doom and cheesy gothic doom and traditional doom...theres a lot to check out.



Nocte
Contributing Reviewer
March 29th 2018


9289 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I made a list in ‘14 it’s like dipping the toe of your toe into the genre. But have a Squizzy:



https://www.sputnikmusic.com/list.php?memberid=473722&listid=148824



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