Mourning Mist 01This was a bear of an album to review. Let me elaborate a bit for clarification… it’s not just because Italy’s Mourning Mist are a new band with precious little background besides having bassist/vocalist Kvasir (also of Profezia and Abhor) in their ranks, as well as a violinist. Hell, violins in metal ain’t nothing new, right? Just describe their tunes utilizing Grymm’s Genre Classification System (TM, Patent Pending), throw some impressive adjectives in there while avoiding the use of the words “swagger” and “samey” without once mentioning My Dying Bride, throw a numerical score, add a video… and BOOM! Done! Only if it were that simple, folks. Their self-titled debut is a little headier, and much more deserving of a fleshed-out description, but how do I best describe it?

For starters, yes, violins have been in metal for quite some time now. The way that violinist/vocalist Ecnerual plays the violin, however, is quite unique. Rather than being up-front and noticeable like My Dying Bride, his playing lurks in the shadows, oftentimes blending in with the guitars rather than screaming out for attention. Opener “The Flowing” is a good example, with the violins acting as feedback, creating drama as the drums thunder slowly forward. The feedback becomes an uneasy, eerie ghost-like apparition before making you realize that yes, this is a violin in a blackened avant garde band, but even then it’s impressive, as they help create different moods within just this one song. “The Flowing” starts off horrific, then twists into mournful doom, before fading to black (metal) with a nice connecting flow throughout.

Each of the six songs on here are a bizarre journey through familiar, yet strange, territories. “Rage” begins with a Sabbath-like riff before going all Kansas on us (think “Point of Know Return”) in parts, with drummer/vocalist Mid’s fills keeping things from going way out of control. Somber violins, frantic riffing from guitarist/vocalist Chris, and Kirsten Dunst (via a sample from Lars von Trier’s 2011 epic depress-athon Melancholia) lead-off album highlight “Torment,” showering the listener in some truly disgusting, uneasy blackened flourishes that would make both Blut Aus Nord and Deathspell Omega take notes. Even closing instrumental “Lament” paints a somber, delicate epitaph to such a chaotic, harrowing trek.

Mourning Mist 02Sonically, the album is quite warm and clear, despite the lack of dynamics. The drums sound organic, the guitars and violins are vibrant, and the bass pops when necessary. Did you notice that I have not once mentioned the vocals on this album so far? For as much as I enjoy this album, the shouting barks on here are a huge distraction, sounding like a cross between Justin Broadrick (Godflesh) and Tom G. Warrior (ex-Celtic Frost/Triptykon), but somehow very goofy when painted over such an impressive canvas. It’s not quite clear exactly who is performing the vocals, as the vocal duties are shared between all four members and not one is listed as a lead, but it needed to be mentioned, as it was a major sticking point to an otherwise impressive debut.

It isn’t often that I have such a hard time describing what I listened to and conveying it properly to you, the reading folk. Mourning Mist actually did what many others proclaim they do: taking their influences and blazing new paths with them. The vocals need some work, but this is a great start for a promising new band, and one hell of a debut.


Rating: 3.5/5.0
DR: 7 | Format Reviewed: 192 kbps mp3
Label: Forever Plagued Records
Website: Facebook.com/MourningMist
Release Dates: EU: 2015.02.09 | NA: 02.17.2015

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  • André Snyde Lopes

    Color me intrigued. The sample is very impressive, even though I’m not very fond of the mucked up production but I guess it kinda fits.

    The vocals remind me of the typical depressive black metal affair like Pensées Nocturnes or Peste Noire. I’m not a big fan either, to be honest, but I can tolerate them.

    • Grymm

      When I mention Omega Deathspell, it’s more in aesthetics and how they incorporate headfuckery (is that even a word?) in their black metal.

      And like you, I dig this more as well. :)

      • I think he means the name is Deathspell Omega.

        • Grymm

          *MAJOR SELF-HEADDESK*

          HOW DID I MISS THIS??!?!? HOW?!

          *crying*

          Thanks… next time, I will write when I’m NOT pulling insane shifts at my other job. Thank you for checking that.

          • No big deal, we all have moments like that :)

          • Carlos Marrickvillian

            quit job, live free, eat metal

          • Monsterth Goatom

            Ha! I’m going to tattoo that on my back!

          • Carlos Marrickvillian

            NO REGERTS! :)

          • Hulksteraus

            Now that IS worthy of a tatoo!!

      • Monsterth Goatom

        Streaming it now. It’s definitely difficult to pigeon-hole this one, but I think you’ve done a good job. Headfuckery, yes. Could work as a soundtrack to a David Lynch film. I didn’t find the vocals that bad.

        • basenjibrian

          I was just listening to an Italian band the other day….buioingola (definitely recommended) and they had an amazing sample from Lost Highway! Creepy creepy sounding movie. I need to buy a copy!

          • Monsterth Goatom

            Inland Empire is my personal favorite. It was a crime that Laura Dern didn’t get an Oscar for her performance.

            Samples from movies can be quite evocative on some records. Spektr did it on Cypher, and Belphegor on Conjuring the Dead (though I can’t place the movie they use; sounds like something from the sixties). Just two examples I’m partial to.

  • I have to say I was mostly intrigued by the Kristen Dunst namedrop. I can recommend to people to not take the soundlcoud track as a good example because I think it’s kinda badly compressed and makes the production sound more muddy than it should. It is actually available on spotify premium so it’s quite better sounding there.

    • Monsterth Goatom

      Kirsten?

  • basenjibrian

    Interesting, no awesome, stuff!

    Can’t really hear much My Dying Bride or even Deathspell here, though. This may be obscure, but track 2 especially has a strong Negative Plain vibe to me! Vocals on track 3 really bring that NP out, especially during the breakdown after the first verse.
    As I have been seriously jonesing for a new Negative Plain album, I am happy.
    Have to admit that the vocals don’t bother me all that much! Not ideal, but not a deal breaker. :)
    What really stands out here is the absolutely AMAZING bass! I am a sucker for a good bass.
    Like the way they use the violin, even if I am a sucker for the My Dying Bride approach which brings it out to the front much more.
    The sampled femal voice onFreefall (track 2) is pretty creepy.

  • Wilhelm

    Sounds fantastic. The production needs some working on but other than that, not too shabby!

  • Doomdeathrosh

    Ummm I have noticed that bands from Italy really adore the violin, eg. early Dark Lunacy, Stormlord and now this…not bad actually!