It must be quite the task conjuring images and emotions tinged with despair and hopelessness for nearly thirty years. Mournful Congregation – where nearly all Funeral Doom Metal discussions must start – unleashed the first part of their opus The Exuviae Of Gods – Part 1 (20 Buck Spin). It represents the Aussies’ sixteenth effort, further emphasizing the band’s frenetic output.
Don’t let that pacing fool you though, because this is still Mournful Congregation. And within this trifecta of tracks lurks a different dark danger confined to its own unique composition.
The sheer opportunity for independent interpretation is enthusing enough. ‘An Epic Dream Of Desire’ is a nearly sixteen-minute slog through impending death. The song first leads you to an inevitable execution site as the streets are lined with hecklers pummeling you with whatever they can get their hands on. Each drum blast mimics taking a right hook to the chin. As the inner self begins to accept this fate, Damon Good’s spoken words and overall pace pickup devolves into the dreaded realization that the gallows are within sight. Defeat and annihilation whisk you away.
‘Mountainous Shadows Cast Through Time’ acts as a metaphor. Massive, ancient iconography – both real and imagined – tends not to be docile, safe or tame. That is explicitly obvious by a much harsher tone which becomes chilling, downtrodden.
Finally, ‘The Exuviae Of Gods’ embellishes an acoustic approach. Soon becoming encapsulated by elongated electric guitar notes, reverb drones in the background. It’s a time for reflection and realization; an instrument with which to gather one’s thoughts, whether alive or dead.
In only three songs, Mournful Congregation remain stalwarts of the scene. Repeatedly remaining fresh with diverse storytelling via minimalism, allowing the listener to feel like a part of the band, rather than an audience member. The ethereal mist that hovers over like a storm cloud is lingering and the constant sense of trepidation is inescapable.
8 / 10