MOURNFUL CONGREGATION – The Exuviae Of Gods – Part I
August 23, 2022, a month ago
Australian funeral doom titans Mournful Congregation are back with the first of two EPs that will be released this year, this one featuring three songs at a total of 37 minutes. Opener “Mountainous Shadows, Cast Through Time” takes all the crushing glory of classic My Dying Bride and filters it through a heavier, cragglier, more sludge sensibility. But there's a ragged glory to things, a second-or-third-album Paradise Lost sense of sad victory, or of a relieved loss.
That's thanks to the glorious melodic guitar work that comes in to give a reprieve from the otherwise suffocating doom riffs. The closing part wraps it up perfectly; man, what a fantastic composition, and the other new cut here, “The Exuviae Of Gods” is no slouch either, at a mere 7:11 practically a sell-out pop single, the band using nothing more than some simple guitar playing (drums come in in the last minute) to create a masterclass of feeling and emotion in simplicity. And that sudden here-comes-the-'80s solo at the song's midpoint rules. The EP closes off with a re-recording of the band's “An Epic Dream Of Desire” from their 1995 demo of the same name. It's interesting in that it shows exactly how focused this band was from the start, the early material and the newer tracks here showing an impressive singularity in intent.
Diehards may notice differences, I can't say I'm familiar with the demo material so I'm just here to say this sounds fantastic (doing some quick research I can say that of course the production is a zillion times heavier and the performance even more solid and confident), the third of three excellent funeral doom epics on this most devastating and satisfying EP.