posted on 12/2006 By:
Like any good metalhead, I try to be as supportive of our august genre’s local participants as possible. I understand that to play good metal one needs not shred or innovate stylistically, or even write great songs; as long as a band can summon up some decent riffing, I’ll usually find something to praise. But there still occasionally comes a band who, despite their undoubtedly healthy and humble intentions, simply cannot meet the most basic standards for success within their chosen style. Mournblade are, unfortunately, one such band.
If there’s anything worth lauding about this band, it lies in their sheer resilience. Mournblade has technically been a band since the late eighties and are only now putting out their first release. The band’s Myspace features a long history of their revolving-door lineup; it seems like half of Mournblade’s ex-members are either dead or in jail. Maybe they should be playing black metal.
But where age and experience often mean quality musicianship and tasteful songwriting, Mangled Lies sounds painfully amateurish. One would think that all those years would allow Mournblade’s members to progress beyond the piteous half-thrash found on this EP; the songwriting is flat and extremely repetitive, the musicianship struggles for competence, and vocalist Jeff Blacky’s out-of-control ranting style is very nearly laughable. Even the tone quality is mediocre at best. This sounds far more like a high school act than the longstanding project of three veteran metalheads.
And so, regrettably, I find myself in the position of suggesting to Mournblade that it would perhaps be best to throw in the towel. Undoubtedly the band’s friends and associates at least think they like Mournblade, and to their credit they’ve managed to land a record deal, but these ears hear nothing of the vitality and energy so crucial to metal on Mangled Lies. In short, this band sounds old and, more importantly, tired. Though the dedication to metal they’ve displayed is admirable, methinks the time for Mournblade to carry the torch might be past.
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