Mental Home - _Black Art_
(The End, 1998)
by: Brian Meloon (
This is an excellent doom album. The band dubs themselves "atmospheric dark doom metal", and that's pretty accurate, though they're not really that "dark". This is their fourth album, and the second released by The End records. This time around, the Muscovites have left behind the Tiamat-styled doom of their previous album _Vale_ [CoC #29] and have developed their own sound, which is more varied and innovative. It's heavily orchestrated, with a good use of keyboards to enhance guitar-driven sections, and to drive the music at others. The music is generally slow-to-mid paced, but the tones, textures, and styles that the band employs vary quite a bit, keeping the music interesting. A few parts have a gothic tinge (a la Cradle of Filth, complete with scream), but these aren't the majority of the album. The vocals are grunted some of the time and half-clean at other times. The playing is very good on all counts, and the parts are pretty complex for the type of music. The production is excellent: everything is clear and sharp. Overall, this is an excellent album, and fans of melodic, atmospheric doom should enjoy it. As a bonus, the CD also includes a claymation video for the song "Pagan Freedom".
(article published 10/1/1998)
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