Review Summary: Tried and True.
To doomers and seasoned funeral death metal aficionados alike, a band such as Mournful needs no introduction, their dirge-like, quasi-trapezoid mamooths of longform have been a force to be reckoned with since the early years of the genre. Starting from humble beginnings, the band has built an impressive back catalogue of gloom very characterized (in the milieu) by its overusage of melodic, if slightly unorthodox juxtaposition. The band has a penchiness for a sound that is both cohesive and restrictive in its innovation, as - although they have parted away with genre convention in their use of clean vocals - the sonic palette isn’t very different release through release. While not exactly a setback, future to-be listeners should bear in mind this may make or break your enjoyment of their output.
Coming off as quite the departure, The Exuviae Of Gods
jolts us along, like 2010’s (11’s) Book of Kings, into a brooding, cathedral-like opener with very fun, monumental walls of resonance. The song (the album’s highlight), clocks in at the 14 min mark, has some of the band’s best riffs to date (I would describe as Sabbath meets David Lynch). The band also takes risks insofar structure is concerned, allowing the organ (a nod to Thergothon and, also, genre namesakes?
Funeral) to have less presence compared to their earlier work.
The second and third track, equally adventurous, have also a tendency to feel a bit samey same-y. This, in this listener’s ears, will prove the most important measuring crux in yours’ enjoyment of the album therein. If you (like me), like your doom moving (Ahab), but with a hint of atmospheric adventureness to make things varied, you won’t find this here. The reason why is Mournful has never cared, and prolly won’t change at this point, the band pioneered a very pigenhold-eable strain of sound which (cosmics leanings aside) cannot excuse some corners which may have had to be cut.
Ultimately, this proves another worthy entry into the catalogue of the veteran band. Fantano may have a hard time convincing Bell Witch fans to jump on this one, but lets face it, it might be for the better. If you like your doom doomy, and your funeral organs where your ears are at, come - here’s one for the ages!