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The epitome of doom and brilliance alike - 94%

When, October 20th, 2006

The Monad of Creation marks a pinnacle in long history of Australian funeral doom gods Mournful Congregation, in that it is their first proper full length release. They have made a great deal of musical progression over the years, captured on their two disc set The Dawning of Mournful Hymns. With the minimalistic, mind-numbingly depressing sounds that are found in their dossier of demos and splits, it's safe to assume that a full length of theirs would be like a magnum opus for the band, highlighting what they are about to the fullest extent. This also raises their fans' expectations to an exceptionally high level.

The did not dissapoint. The first sound on The Monad of Creation is the crushing single riff of a guitar tuned far down, indicative of the funerary heaviness that the listener is about to experience. The whole album is very heavy, mixing their brand of exceptionally low guitar work and slow beat, with a lot of the same type of melody that made 'The Epitome of Gods and Men Alike' such a well liked song. Damon's vocals have hardly changed, and if anything are a slightly more amplified, more devastating growl than before. He makes use of his clean voice as well at a few select moments, sometimes reduced to a faint whisper. The album also features more acoustic guitar than the band's previous outings; nearly a third of the album is acoustic. The most enjoyable feature of the album is the use of near silence, and some very quiet yet very emotive moments. The last few minutes of Mother - 'Water, The Great Sea Wept', the first track, provides the best example of the extremely bleak quietness that they manage to pull off beautifully. The album exits on a quiet note as well, not with a bang, but with a whimper, leaving the listener emotionally drained and ultimately satisfied.

This album is everything good funeral doom should be and more. Mournful Congregation have captured sublime darkness and austerity, and literally put it into music. All extreme doom fans should get their hands on The Monad of Creation.