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Another Vitus Masterwork - 85%

brocashelm, June 14th, 2006

Much like it’s predecessor Born Too Late, Mournful Cries is big on Saint Vitus’ sluggardly tempos, features only 6 cuts in it’s contents, and remains another doom metal landmark. Having spent the early part of their career out of step with the thrash metal movement, Vitus continued to cower in the light of underground fashion. Death metal and it’s ensuing domination was brewing up like a cauldron full of pus, but Vitus simply threw their monk hoods over their heads and forged ahead oblivious. They’d survive that movement, and live long enough to sneer at black metal’s fashion surge as well, eventually coming into vogue as stoner rock marched into center stage nearly 20 years after the band’s inception.

But as for Mournful Cries itself, it actually represented a slight improvement over the band’s prior album Born Too Late, as it’s songs stick to the robs better and more often. “Dragon Time” is more than a touch hokey in the lyrical department, but this slow descent is marked by killer riffs and a monster chorus, making it one of the band’s finest. “Bitter Truth” raises the pulse (a smidge) while “The Troll” is perhaps this band’s best ever ode to sloth tempo, while revisiting the social alienation theme of prior albums. Perhaps the addition of Wino’s guitar skills helped give the album an edge. Perhaps it’s just a killer doom opus. Whatever the case, Mournful Cries is a damn fine listen. Vitus would take a turn for the worse after it, as Wino would depart the ranks after recoding one more album, the disappointing V.