Release DetailsLABEL Grau Records
RELEASED ON 5/13/2008
A Disease For The Ages
posted on 7/2008 By:
Mourning Beloveth, from Ireland, trade in doom/death metal. It's that romantic and despondent early 90s sound: My Dying Bride, early Katatonia and Anathema, and now relative newcomers like Swallow the Sun and Daylight Dies. The guitars crunch and hang in the heavy air as riffs roll out like waves of molasses. Solos, when they appear, weep rather than wail and the tone is oppressively dark. A Disease for the Ages is crushingly suffocating music, and as death/doom goes, a prime cut of really good stuff.
This is my first time hearing this long-standing outfit (formed in 1992) but as the band doesn't stray far from their influences I immediately felt familiar with their sound. Luckily, what they do, they do very well, so the lack of originality didn't taint my experience in the least. I wanted bleak death/doom dirges and bleak death/doom dirges I got. The band does set themselves apart from other traders in the bleak and heavy in a few ways. First off, there seems to be more of a focus on forward momentum and a generally more "epic" feel to some of the riffs and passages here. The opener "The Sickness" is a good example. It may be a thirteen minute song, but it feels quite a bit shorter, and the vibe is dark but it's hardly wrist-slashing stuff. I don't mean to give the impression that these songs aren't lumbering or sad, because they are, but A Disease for the Ages is more than just doom and gloom; it's doom and gloom and power. And Mourning Beloveth clearly know how to write some powerful, awesome riffs. Again, the opener says it all. The other unique component of Mourning Beloveth's sound here is Frank's clean voice. Used sparingly, his pipes lend a human fragility to an album that could almost fall in on itself under its slow crushing weight. His vocals complement the band's melodic side well and keep these songs from wallowing too long in death territory, again adding a slight epic touch to the long affair.
The production is dense and thick, giving the album lots of depth while keeping the instruments pretty clear and adding a great crunch to the guitars. It's simply perfect for this sound, especially given the cleaner, more aggressive side the band explores from time to time. All in all I can't really say anything seriously negative about this album. I like it a lot, I just feel like it's something I should love a lot more than I do. I will admit that some of the songs drag on a bit (parts of "Poison Beyond All" and "Trace Decay"spring to mind), and some of the emotion is lost on me. So perhaps some tightening of the screws on this formula will produce something approaching a masterpiece of the genre next time. But until then, I look forward to the colder months because I expect this long-player will be getting plenty of spins.
Register to post comments.