By Andy Thunders
Mournful Congregation latest album, The Incubus of Karma, is a phenomenal, dark funeral procession into the abyss of eternal torment. This is their best to date, full of dark, cold, isolating atmospheres, and a crushing, anguish filled heaviness.
The intro track, “The Indwelling Ascent,” brings you down into the abyss; full of beautiful harmonies and atmospheric-like funereal fog.
“Whispering Spiritscapes” follows suit; starting out with an agony laden riff. ‘Black Horses ride wave less skies, traversed as shapeless voids, backless night and void less light’ growls Damon Good. It is dark, slightly medieval, and it is excruciatingly atmospheric. It is hauntingly beautiful, taking you on a journey through the black, bleak, despair ridden void of eternal death.
Side B begins with “The Rubaiyat,” which starts off with a funeral hymn on the organ, then comes a flute in the background. ‘Earth could not answer nor the seas that mourn and the thoughtful soul to solitude return.’ My God, this spoken word evokes so much feeling. As the guitars build, the song metamorphosis into the most gorgeous heavy, misery ridden song. This is not your typical metal, it is a sound scape.
The title track starts out side C, with melancholic acoustics setting the mood. The electric guitar comes up slowly, playing beautifully, and the rest of the band carry this lovely, hypnotic instrumental on the Pale Horse of Death.
“Scripture Of Exaltation and Punishment” starts off with an uncomfortable howl as it starts with a slow, heavy dirge. It is literally what entering the gates of hell would sound like if it had a soundtrack. ‘How tall these trees, scent dampened by earth where darkness and cold shade reign.”
Side D contains last track, “A Picture of the Devouring Gloom Devouring the Spheres Of Being,” starts off with the most beautiful and sinister sounding soft guitar intro. As the rest of the band starts fading in, it is so enchanting in the ether, yet sorrow driven.
This album is an incredible piece of musical art. That’s the best way I can describe it. It is the heaviest and darkest record you’ll hear this year, but it will also entrance you with its beauty as well.
1. The Indwelling Ascent
2. Whispering Spiritscapes
3. The Rubaiyat
4. The Incubus of Karma
5. Scripture of Exaltation and Punishment
6. A Picture of the Devouring Gloom Devouring the Spheres of Being
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