MOURNER "Apogee of Nihility"

Mourner are a brand new death/doom band hailing from Russia and they make their introduction to the scene with their first full length called Apogee of Nihility. This is a crushing and convincing statement by a young and talented band. Like often the case when it comes to (death/) doom metal Apogee of Nihility does not simply follow a pop song formula consisting of the traditional verse-bridge-chorus parts. The songs feature arrangements that flow and evolve as each riff closes. Each transition marks an indistinguishable final chapter in a song segment. This album is mostly comprised of pieces, not standard songs. However, it is the way how those pieces have been put together that makes this album stand out from most of its peers. It can become a bit of a difficult listen as the band slow down to a crawl and the guitarist downpicks slowly to the slogging beat. Lovers of faster and more casual metal might find this boring and start to look elsewhere. While this is for sure not the kind of music I could listen to each and all day I highly appreciate the mood Mourner are able to create, leading to a satisfying listening experience given the right circumstances. Fans of cinematic arrangements to doom/death metal for sure will love this effort. The lyrics keep pace with the riffs, the riffs lock in to the beats, and for brief moments during this album, Mourner remind me of Gothic-era Paradise Lost minimalist, going slow, then fast, then back again, while melodic solos occasionally provide nuance. The music creates a bleak atmosphere and offers a certain kind of melancholic beauty. Symphonic elements are always present in the background giving the whole affair an epic character. The production is powerful with the mix perfectly balancing a certain rawness and much needed clarity. The guitars are crunchy without burying the symphonic details. While the growls are deep and beastly each word can be perfectly understood. Rounded of by an atmospheric and mystic cover artwork this album should be worth a look for any fan of dark and crawling metal.

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