Mournful Congregation, The Exuviae Of Gods – Part I (20 Buck Spin 2022)

On the cusp of thirty years in, Mournful Congregation begin their two-part EP series with The Exuviae Of Gods – Part I.

Australian doom band Mournful Congregation is a pillar of the funeral doom mausoleum. From the very beginning with the Weeping demo in 1994, they have set their own boundaries. A second demo appeared the very next year then, a few years on, Tears From A Grieving Heart, their first full-length album. Since then, there has been a steady, well-paced flow of much-needed doom. The band is peopled by Damon Good (vocals and guitar), Justin Hartwig (guitar), Ben Newsome (bass), Ben Petch (guitar), and Tim Call (drums).

Exuviae Of Gods will be released in two parts, the second appearing later this year. Part I contains three long tracks starting with “Mountainous Shadows, Cast Through Time.” An organ fades in playing sinister tones leading in short order to a confrontation with a massive wall of guitar riffs. The vocals that ensue have a sound of distance in them, gruff and croaking. Slow and deliberate. The guitar solo enters in its own time and, when it does, it is genuinely enthralling.

“The Exuviae Of Gods” is a deeply moving instrumental piece soaked in sorrow. At merely seven minutes long, it is sandwiched between two behemoths. The vocalizations in “An Epic Dream Of Desire” are spoken word, offering unmuddled direction in the narrative. Halfway through, a lead guitar embarks on a deeply emotive dirge of mystical wonder. Beyond is the eventuality of existence and nonexistence. The space that Mournful Congregation inhabits in the land of funeral doom music is most compelling. Recommended.

The Exuviae Of Gods – Part I is out on Friday, May 27th through 20 Buck Spin digitally and on CD, with vinyl to follow a bit later on. Osmose Productions is handling the album outside of North America.

Links.

Bandcamp, https://mournfulcongregation.bandcamp.com/album/the-exuviae-of-gods-part-i

Website, https://www.mournfulcongregation.com

Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/mournfulcongregation

20 Buck Spin, https://www.20buckspin.com/

© Wayne Edwards

Mournful Congregation, The Exuviae Of Gods – Part I (20 Buck Spin 2022)

Aegrus, The Carnal Temples (Osmose Productions 2022)

Finland’s black metal veterans Aegrus unleash a new EP onto the world: The Carnal Temples.

Aegrus has three full-length albums in their catalogue, and a host of EPs and demos dating back to 2006. Originating in southern Finland, Aegrus is part of the storied landscape of black metal history. According to the Metal Archives, the band is Praestigiator (guitar), Lux Tenebris (guitar, bass), Inculta (vocals), and Serpentifer (drums).

There are four tracks on the new EP, each running in the six minute range. First up, “The Carnal Temples.” A solitary guitar strums a direct riff and is soon joined by the rhythm section and the hissing, strained vocals we were waiting for. An episode of chaos follows, and then the rampaging riff returns. “In Death Rapture” opens slower, but you know the kick is coming … and it does, fierce and excoriating.

“Moonlit Coffinspirit” dooms up front with a heavy trod and a melancholy melody. The pace does grow throughout and the song ends on a vocal duet and a hammering groove. It is a very different song from the other three on the record and stands out as my favorite of the set. The final flourish is “Flesh And Blood,” a traditionally savage black metal beast. The song does have divergent groovy hooks in a couple of spots that mark it for notoriety.

If you have been following Aegrus all these years then you are in line already for this new one. It is a good place to start for newcomers to their music, too, because it shows a nice array of the variety of music the band produces. Recommended.

The Carnal Temples is out through Osmose Productions on Friday, January 28th. In the US, Bandcamp is the place to go.

Links.

Website, https://osmoseproductions.bandcamp.com/album/the-carnal-temples

Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/Aegrusofficial

Osmose Productions, https://www.osmoseproductions.com/

Aegrus, The Carnal Temples (Osmose Productions 2022)