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Dream Warriors - 75%

Sweetie, July 16th, 2021

For something that resides on a much warmer end of the doom/death genre, Mother Of Graves actually took a few spins to grow on me. Being one of the first artists on Wise Blood Records, they brought forth In Somber Dreams. It sounds exactly the way you’re picturing, because there is a somber, sadder feeling underneath this entire EP. Brace yourselves, it’s a pretty hazy ride.

All around, the guitar tones are extremely warm, and there isn’t a lot of distortion traditional to doom metal or death metal. The leads come through very cleanly, poking through a misty atmosphere and booming basslines that can be felt miles away. This gives off a somewhat gazey element (deathgaze, eh?). With that said, the vocals still reside on the hoarse end, coming in with clear precision but still being boasted as harsh growls. So you could probably just call it very slow melodic death metal?

It isn’t all that way though. The ending of the title track picks up some serious speeds and drives the cloud of rhythm early on with some super fast drumming and grittier riffs. “Nameless Burial” follows this with a far darker mood thanks to more threatening passages. The keys on it add a special layer of spookiness. “The Urn” offers us the cleanest passages on the entire EP to precede a monstrous gallop, and “Deliverance” finishes things off on a steady groove before hitting an eruptive outing.

Though an unconventional pick for yours truly, In Somber Dreams was absolutely worth giving time to grow on me. If you’ve come by for dirty riffs and cavernous howls, I’d keep riding forward. However, all fans of the sadboi side of this genre should make a quick stop. Lots of layers to peel off for such a short offering.

Originally written for Metal Inferno

Darkness enshrouded in somber dreams - 90%

bonnoz, February 5th, 2021
Written based on this version: 2021, Digital, Wise Blood Records

From the first song to the last song, this EP is filled with emotion. Being the first release of Mother Of Graves, I wouldn't have expected such intensity and dread in the music. It sounds so mature. Just straight from the first few notes, you are being drawn into an epic story filled with doom and death metal. However, If you don’t like melodic metal in any way possible, you won’t be able to listen to ‘In Somber Dreams’.

So the album starts off kinda odd. It feels like you start in the middle of a song but it doesn’t feel uncomfortable at all. After that there aren’t that many moments throughout the album that don’t feel natural. The flow throughout the album is comfortable and makes you want more and more of Mother Of Graves.

One of the elements that really pop out of the great mix are the vocals by Brandon Howe (who you might know for his work in Obscene and Summon The Destroyer). His vocals are insanely powerful and they really feel mighty. Yes, these guys do have some experience in the music scene but as Mother Of Graves, they don’t have a lot since they have been a band since 2019. However it is noticeable that they bring their experience and expertise from their other projects like Harakiri, Man Eating Giant, Summon The Destroyer and many others.

The Indianapolis based band certainly knows how to write good music. Just by listening to ‘In Somber Dreams’, you can hear the professionalism and fun in the whole music. Even though it is filled with somber riffs and melodies, you can still hear the fun in the whole music. You don’t hear that too often anymore.

The album also has a small layer of post-apocalyptic feeling to it. The song ‘The Urn’ has that feeling. The dark, abandoned feeling dwells deep into your soul while listening to ‘The Urn’. It is probably the saddest song of ‘In Somber Dreams’. The recurring mesmerizing guitar riff doesn’t get boring at all and is essentially the backbone of this song. ‘The Urn’ is so well written, just like the whole EP, but ‘The Urn’ really steps out of the bunch. It is incredible to see such a young band play such experienced death doom metal since that is very hard to do in such a genre of metal.