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.

MOURNER "Apogee of Nihility"

Mourners debut album Apogee of Nihility is a layered and atmospheric sound with textures of heavy gloom and death, nestled between the influences of Paradise Lost and My Dying Bride, the sound is a well crafted mix of the classic Death/Doom sound. There are moments of grand conjuring on the album where the wall of heaviness takes an epic sway tipping between melodic doom and crushing death. While there is a fair share of death metal on the album, more often than not, the songs lean on the doomier sound of the spectrum. Riff wise, the guitars weave an intricate web of melodic leads and crushing distorted rhythms that fall into place over the low-end rumble of the bass and pounding drums. The vocals are of the death metal variety with monstrous growls and shouts that when combined with the expansive doom metal sound tie the whole soundscape together. Upon first listen, Apogee of Nihility is a well written and presented album but there is a deeper level of musicality that can only be dug up and brought to the surface through multiple listens.

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