Mournful Congregation - _The Monad of Creation_
(Weird Truth, 2005)
by: Pedro Azevedo (9 out of 10)
A well hidden gem, this one. Australian doom metal purveyors Mournful Congregation previously had only 2002's double CD _The Dawning of Mournful Hymns_ behind them; a compilation of demos recorded throughout the '90s. Like so much of what is good in life, the band's first actual full-length album _The Monad of Creation_ was a long time in the making. In this age of following trends, rushing out albums and heavily betting on image, this approach becomes all the more gratifying, and it shows in the music. For a debut album of sorts, the four lengthy doom metal compositions on offer share a remarkable sense of premeditation and maturity.

Theirs is mostly a funeral type of doom, slow and deep, but Mournful Congregation still utilize almost ubiquitous sorrowful guitar leads and several well integrated acoustic guitar elements. There are no further embellishments besides the acoustic guitar however, as the band shun any kind of female vocals, violins, keyboards and other current staples of the doom metal genre. This isn't to say that the music is a monotonous, numbing drone; on the contrary, despite the slowness of its pace, there is much to be enjoyed -- if such a word even applies in this context. Spoken (often whispered) vocal passages also complement the excellent doom/death vox nicely, and help Mournful Congregation achieve a consistent atmosphere throughout the record.

While I have to add the usual warning that those who aren't already fans of the genre are unlikely to enjoy this record, those who are really need to discover this Australian act. Revolutionary it certainly isn't, but this is still one of the best doom metal albums to have come my way in 2005, along with Evoken, Mourning Beloveth and Swallow the Sun.

Contact: http://www.mournfulcongregation.tk

(article published 29/1/2006)


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