Mourning Beloveth – As Everything Withers

Thursday, 28th March 2013

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Longtime pillars of the Irish metal Gothic/doom metal scene, Mourning Beloveth are on the proverbial “rebound” with A New Disease For the Ages, an album that capsizes their spotty A Murderous Circus platter some three years ago.

For a band like Mourning Beloveth, expanding in the claustrophobic confines of dark Gothic metal can obviously be constricting. With very little wiggle room, an album like A Murderous Circus (which saw the band rely heavily, almost to a fault, repetitive riffs and arrangements) will no doubt rankle a few feathers in the underground. And it did.

The new year sees the release of A New Disease For the Ages and a return the harrowing enclave of doom the band became notorious for with albums in the form of The Sullen Circus and Dust. At a mere five songs, A New Disease… is as grueling as it is momentous, with an envoy of those classic melodic doom riffs going right for the throat, most notably on the striking “Primevil Rush.”

Communication for this particular interview came in the form of email, where new bassist Brendan dished on the new album, the split reactions to A Murderous Disease and his thoughts and feelings on the Irish metal scene. Let’s go… Why such the delay in between albums? MB typically puts out albums at a good pace…

Brendan: Yeah, this album really took its own time, in every regard, to finally be out. Of course factors like tours, members leaving and being replaced, writing, more shows, writing, new rehearsal studio, more writing, all took roughly two years. The album was actually recorded back in October ‘07, and then the artwork/release schedules/whatever delays kicked in. So yeah, we are delighted it’s finally out, and are extremely happy with the whole package, the content, cover art, and the reaction it’s generating. And finally looking forward to playing some of the new stuff live! Was there any thought to the direction of A New Disease… put in because of A Murderous Circus’ split reactions?

Brendan: The new album is the first I was involved with, having replaced Adrian on bass in ‘06. But never in the rehearsal studio was any of the new riffs or arrangements weighed or judged against any of the previous offerings, just on their own merits or not. When some of the material started to come together, begin to form their own identities and atmospheres, it became obvious to us that we needed to reinforce, beef up and maybe intensify the guitar tones a little bit. Because that was what this particular set of songs required. So that was the only preconceived “production” decision made before recording. Focus was solely on writing the best arrangements/songs we could, regardless of any other supposed considerations. And we did. Looking back, were you happy with how that album turned out? It certainly had its moments…

Brendan: The way I look at the whole period of time is that the album reflects exactly that period, is completely influenced by the individual and collective experiences of that point in time. That’s what makes it special, for both all the positive and negative reasons. And I enjoyed it all immensely and I’m proud to have been a part of the whole process, beginning to end. The next cycle now lies ahead, of shows and hopefully, a reorganized tour. I cant wait for people to hear these songs in the live setting, because that’s how they were written, live, the five of us together in a room rattled by loud amps and PA, for people to hear what we heard when we created them. Going into the songwriting for A New Disease…, what was MB looking to accomplish?

Brendan: Simply to write songs that we wanted to hear. To create something that moved us on the levels that we feel good music should. An organic gut reaction that music renders in your mind and body was the barometer against which we guided ourselves and our own gut instincts. That, to me is the only way to write music, keep it simple because if other considerations, like worrying about how people will like it, is it “cool” enough, fashionable enough for mags etc., the actual music becomes less of a priority so much so that it fools nobody; the insincerity of the music becomes apparent to everybody. It seems like you’re leaning more the melodic riffs this time, especially with “Primevil Rush.” Agree?

Brendan: Defiantly some of the passages of songs this time are less desolate sounding than on A Murderous Circus, less empty and devoid of, well, anything. But I think MB has always had a keen sense of melody, in terms of instrument interplay, guitar lines and vocal delivery and execution. Again, the melodies this time around are what Frank and Brian felt were part of where the song was going, or needed to be taken. So to me, the whole mix of ingredients, riffs, notes, melody, harmony, vocals, what’s played and what’s not, production, practice and mistakes combine to create the end result. Five strains of the one whole thread that is the song, five songs that create the tapestry that is the album. At five songs, there is a lot to digest. Could you have spilt some of the songs up to make more?

Brendan: No, simply because as mentioned above, the songs are exactly the way they needed to be. We never set out to write a “short” or “long” song, just a song. Whatever is needed is used, or else its discarded pretty quickly. The songs are their own entity, and to abridge or edit them would be akin to amputating an essential limb or harvesting a functioning organ. That’s one of the reasons I’m not too enamored with free cover mount CD’s that contain a five or six minute edit of a MB song. Then the song only truly works as a complete work/body.

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