Mournful Congregation – Concrescence of the Sophia EP (20 Buck Spin)Thursday, 12th June 2014
The dial points right to these Aussies as one of the more reliable practitioners of the grief-stricken (!) funeral doom style. Actually, Mournful Congregation may be a mobile step above that little segment; their songs do on occasion, manage to get out of the low BPMs doldrums. But the whole idea is to be as sorrowful, slow, and utterly dark as possible, which the band has been able to achieve quite frequently throughout their valued, but not ballyhooed career. With Concrescence of the Sophia , the band continues their plight down, down, and down.
Just two jams here, the first of which being the title track and it hits the 21-minute mark. It’s a purposeful, melody-ready jam, though, as those crisp notes soar above riffs that strike the proper doom chord like it was 1991. And naturally, the drums are way behind the whole thing, the snare coming in when it wants to, or when the drummer is done taking a drag from his cigarette or reading a magazine. The bleak front offered “Concrescence of the Sophia ” is immense, as it should be. “Silenced of the Passed” emerges as the better of the two jams, enabled by some cold, wind-strewn guitar touches that are a lovely complement to the band’s typically slow-footed chords. Plus, it’s only a touch over eight-minutes.
Very much a niche band playing an incredibly niche style that has its limitations, Mournful Congregation are worthy of the praise so often thrown their way – they’re probably the first name that comes to mind when pondering this stuff; them, and Ahab. So, for your choice of dig-yer-grave music for 2014, look no further than this.