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Mourning Dawn - For the fallen - 80%

Phuling, January 5th, 2010

At first I couldn’t bring to mind having heard of Mourning Dawn before, it wasn’t until a while later I realized I had actually heard their self-titled debut from 2007, and just completely forgot about it. I guess that’s quite a bad start, not even remembering the band. But with that notion set aside I have no doubts about my remembrance in the future. The accompanying promo-flyer describes this as 'unique painful black/dark metal'. I have no idea what dark metal is, but I’ll go for the painless part of it (I wouldn’t say it’s unique) and substitute dark for doom. This has doom metal written all over it, battered with the freezing aspects of first class black metal.

The suicidal and depressive characteristics of the music will probably speak to fans of such acts as Bethlehem and Forgotten Tomb, and "Sick" definitely reminds me of some latter Shining material, but to tell you the truth these are probably not names I’d really use for comparisons. I’m not sure what I’d use to compare them to, but with the lack of post-rock influences and the massive doom influence it just doesn’t feel right to brush it off as another band in the ever-so-growing (and constantly disappointing) depressive style of black metal. The melancholy of the vocals, the haunting melody of the riffing and the hefty pounding of the drumming combines to create a very dissonant atmosphere. While I might not be in complete agreement with the spoken vocals (which to me just sounds out of place, and takes away from, rather than add to, the melancholy) it has a certain eager to self-mutilation; its cries are vivid enough to bring flashes of a self-abhorrent man carving pieces of his own flesh in pure desperation of feeling anything but distraught depression. Now, I know that might sound artsy-fartsy as hell, but the vocals are definitely some of the more powerful ones of the like to be heard.

While the tempo is mostly very slow the drumming brings with it tons of variation, which is something a lot of bands seem to forget in its eagerness to sound depressive. Here you’ll find some very satisfying drum beats that enhances the atmosphere and really adds power and even a touch of brutality to the otherwise quite melodic music. The melody comes solely from the riffing, which has certain flair of both old school and modern day European black metal; bringing Germany and France to mind. "For the fallen" is a very impressive display of chilling melody and pure aptitude for the creation of haunting, desperately loathing black metal. While it might satisfy your needs the first time around it takes a couple of more listens before you’ll realize the power and heftiness of the music.

Originally written for http://www.mylastchapter.net