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Mournful Congregation : The Dawning of Mournful Hymns

Hallelujah! There are still labels that have the guts to release extreme, uncompromising doom. Weird Truth Productions proved to be such a label by releasing practically the whole Mournful Congregation material since 1993 on two discs.

The Australian Mournful Congregation combines the mournful 'feel' of early MDB. with the self-willed, dissonant and bleak nihilism of Thergothon. Slow, endlessly drifting twin guitar (dys)harmonies, pounding drums and an impressively deep, yet suprisingly well-articulated grunt seem to be involved in a game without rules, meaning or purpose. Here it is where the terms 'song structure' and 'order' lose their significance. Monotonous, agonizing slow, disillusioned and hopeless, this music seems to have lost the will to ease the pain in the heart of the listener. The occational clean guitar intermezzi fail to change this desolate picture. In contrary, their repetitive, dissonant themes add even more pain making the experience almost unbearable. This is food for the doom freaks, those who know what suffering means and who at the same time have lost interest in the 'beauty' of lush symphonic arrangements, angelic female vocals and bittersweet melodies. The pain is deep and heart-felt, but there is no will left to protest against this inhuman torture. Apathy, emptiness and solitude are all that remain.

The tracks that stick out, are the colossal 'Fading Light of a Dying Sun', 'Astralic Dreams', 'Suffer the Storms', 'The Epitome of Gods and Men Alike' and 'An Epic Dream of Desire'. Especially that last track drains every joy of the listener's soul with its heart shredding guitar harmonies, the whispered vocals which sound like a last goodbye to a deceased dear friend, its epic length of 15 minutes and its moving lyrics: "We look to the clouds for they form epic pictures…The earth stands still, the air is silent/We all dream together, yet we are all alone…the clouds hold the answers, yet still we search."

We gather netherlands and together with the Mournful Congregation we continue our search hoping to find a meaning someday…

Reviewer's rating: Unrated


Tracklist :
1. Fading Light of a Dying Sun
2. Astralic Dreams
3. Weeping
4. Suffer the Storms

'An Epic Dream Of Desire':
5. Heads Bowed
6. Miriam
7. An Epic Dream of Desire

'Tears From A Grieving Heart' (1998 demo):
1. Skyward Gaze, Earthward Touch
2. Re-Memberance of the Transcending Moon
3. Empirical Choirs
4. Tears From a Grieving Heart
5. Opal of the Stream Beneath the Hills

'Tears From A Grieving Heart' (2001 re-release):
6. Elemental

'Mournful Congregation/Worship Split':
7. The Epitome of Gods and Men Alike

Duration : Approx. 126 minutes

Visit the Mournful Congregation bandpage.

Reviewed on ??-??-???? by Kostas Panagiotou
Vanha - Black Lion
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