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"An Ocean That Could Not Be Conquered" - 92%

OzzyApu, May 14th, 2012

In Mourning’s third full-length surfaces and is unleashed right on schedule. The band’s ambition and creativity is as ripe as before and the band sets their sites on marine themes. This creates a stronger backbone to the album that was missing on Monolith, but keeps The Weight Of Oceans with a direction and rich atmosphere in mind. Of course, the superb songwriting and hooks illustrate the band’s exemplary ability to remain one of the more gratifying bands across the melodic death and progressive death genres.

With the same crisp, opulent production as their previous two albums, In Mourning take a gamble with an even longer album than before. Despite the average track length increasing, the melodies and riffs remain top-notch and soulful. The one track that sort of goes against these characteristics is the finale, “Voyage Of A Wavering Mind.” This begrudging, slogging beast of a track has a ton of weight to it, with the same cryptic, aquatic atmosphere to endow. The main riff is very simple and hypnotic, but there isn’t the same fervor like the other tracks. This ends up making “Voyage Of A Wavering Mind” the gloomiest and most peculiar track of the bunch. This also makes the song questionable in terms of placement not on the album (though it isn’t hard to argue why it shouldn’t be on the album), but where on the album it was placed. Despite its enjoyability, it’s anti-climactic and abrupt, like the keyboard-instrumental “Sirens”. However, “Sirens” does enough to introduce “Isle Of Solace” while “Voyage Of A Wavering Mind” stands alone (and musically working against the unified concept of the album).

To switch it with basically any other track as the finale (my pick would be “A Vow To Conquer The Ocean”) provides, to varying extents, a much more seamless conclusion to the album. Despite the drawback of real finale, The Weight Of Oceans still has a very strong track order. The openers are resilient as proof in this claim, acting like waves of lavishly textured opuses. They’re certainly some of the best songwriting by the band up to this point, especially “A Vow To Conquer The Ocean” with its floating atmosphere and ghostly bridge. A compelling journey is made when listening to each track; flow like this is earned by lush production and balance between all components of the band. The onslaught of bludgeoning prog riffs, the blubbery bass support (taking the lead to establish an abyssal tone at times), vibrant atmosphere, and crashing drumming establishes dominance and trust in course. The opener, “Colossus”, is the vanguard of this progressive death malevolence, with an immense build-up culminating into a tight tsunami of colliding riffs and harmonies. Netzell’s gasping growls are clear and ferocious as always, with his parched screams and eerie cleans giving such engulfing music more conduits of expression.

Everything comes together to exert powerful emotions and a meaningful experience. In Mourning makes an aquatic-themed album that actually sounds oceanic and otherworldly while retaining their signature sound. Any melodic death fan will love this album, while death and prog fans can enjoy the heavier and more cunning side of the band. Mark up another captivating album by the band to enjoy for a lifetime.