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Dead End Euphoria - 75%

dismember_marcin, May 1st, 2021

Among all these more experimental and challenging albums released by Aesthetic Death, this one feels like much more traditional death / doom metal piece of work. The band is called Mourning Dawn and the album it titled "Dead End Euphoria". I feel a little uninformed, when I listen to this CD, because Mourning Dawn has already quite a big discography they built for more than a decade, and this is their fifth album yet. I have not heard anything from them before, which means I cannot make any comparisons to their previous works nor have any expectations whatsoever.
But well, "Dead End Euphoria" defends itself easily, so who cares. I have practically one problem with this album and it is its length. It is just a bit too much music for me, because how can I be able to stay focused and listen to such music for seventy minutes? It's a bit overwhelming dose of death / doom, luckily though Mourning Dawn avoided any boredom at all. But you do need to spend some time and give several spins, before the whole album will unveil all its mysteries before you.
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Mourning Dawn is a must for all those, who like that melancholic style of doom / death metal. The album is a nice mixture of heavy, crushing riffage and sorrowful melodies. It's kind of easily listenable music, it goes on slowly, balancing between the heaviness, aggression and extremity and many softer parts, all embraced in the dark, haunting, sombre atmosphere. Interestingly, vocals have almost a black metal tone, Laurent Chaulet doesn't spare his voice, screaming in a ferocious manner, which actually do fits well the depressive nature of this music. It surely adds more aggressive sound to it. I also like some clean vocals, which appear here and there. In "Conclusion" you will hear even some fast parts, which nicely complement the album with more aggressive emotions.

One song I need to mention separately here is "The Five Steps To Death", which is over twenty five minutes long monolith. At first I was thinking of it as a filler, too long to really catch my attention. But then, this song is so full of killer ideas and arrangements that it is the best fragment of the whole album! I love that sick, opening part, then the acoustic piece brings completely different vibe, before again a crushing doomy riff breaks the wall and even turns into fast, savage motif, for more pissed off, aggressive effect. And some great clean vocals are here as well. Damn, this song has everything and even more, I think it is the best part of the whole album and a perfect summation of what Mourning Dawn has to offer.

All in all, "Dead End Euphoria" is a great album. I had to get used to it a little and spend a lot of time, before I really started to appreciate it. After first couple of spins I rather felt bored than impressed. But the album is a grower. Now I think of it as one of best Aesthetic Death releases, surely right after that Epitaphe CD I had a pleasure to hear a couple of years ago.

Standout tracks: "The Five Steps To Death", “Dawn of Doom”
Verdict: 75/100