Mourning Beloveth - _A Disease for the Ages_
(Grau, 2008)
by: Pedro Azevedo (9 out of 10)
Irish doom mongers Mourning Beloveth have been producing solid albums for many years now, with 2003's excellent _The Sullen Sulcus_ remaining as my favourite so far. _A Murderous Circus_, the band's 2005 debut for Grau, had some of the kind of brilliant moments that made _The Sullen Sulcus_ such a resounding success; but it also had some long, repetitive sections that lacked the sonic or musical impact to allow _AMC_ to truly challenge its predecessor. 2008 finds Mourning Beloveth expanding on the elements of their previous albums and honing their craft to the point of producing possibly the best album of their career so far, and one of the year's top doom/death highlights.

While still firmly doom/death metal however, on _A Disease for the Ages_ they are not bound by the genre's standards. The superb deep death growls are accompanied by some higher pitched ones, which fit the music well when they are employed. More striking than those are the clean vocals, which on this album are sometimes sung using a rather classic doom metal style that may not suit every taste, but they emply various techniques and contribute to the album's variety.

The guitar work can be quite outstanding, as can be expected from Mourning Beloveth, excelling more during the doom melodies than the heavier riffs -- the opening track "The Sickness" should be enough to hook any doom fan in that regard. Said melodies are performed in a way that is quite characteristic of the band's previous work, continuing rather than repeating what they have done so far. This allows Mourning Beloveth to shine at what should be the core of their doom/death metal. "Trace Decay" is a heavier track, made more distinguishable by the use of duelling growls and clean singing on a couple of occasions. "Primeval Rush" returns to the slow, painful but melodic reign for the most part, and does so with great aplomb. "The Burning Man" has an acoustic backbone that successfully enhances its individuality, and also provides effective contrast with the heavy guitar work and growls. "Poison Beyond All" closes the album in a somewhat less remarkable, but nonetheless very competent fashion.

Over the course of its five long tracks, _A Disease for the Ages_ proves to be a more consistent album than its predecessor _A Murderous Circus_, at least for this listener. Although different, I find it as good as _The Sullen Sulcus_, which is saying a lot -- except there are more progressive ideas at work here. A very interesting, well balanced and mature doom metal album that will remain among the best of its genre by the end of the year, as far as I'm concerned.

Contact: http://www.grau.cd/label

(article published 7/2/2008)


CHATS
8/12/2001 P Azevedo Mourning Beloveth: Earth to Earth, Ashes to Ashes...
ALBUMS
4/28/2013 P Azevedo 9 Mourning Beloveth - Formless
3/10/2005 P Azevedo 8.5 Mourning Beloveth - A Murderous Circus
10/27/2003 P Azevedo 9 Mourning Beloveth - The Sullen Sulcus
9/1/2002 P Azevedo 8 Mourning Beloveth - Dust
5/13/2001 P Azevedo 8 Mourning Beloveth - Dust
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