The Morningside - _The Wind, the Trees and the Shadows of the Past_
(Bad Mood Man / Solitude Productions, 2007)
by: Quentin Kalis (6 out of 10)
The debut from this Russian based band consists of three lengthy songs sandwiched between an intro and outro. The titles of these three songs form the album title, immediately evoking comparisons to Katatonia's _Brave Murder Day_. This is no accident, as The Morningside construct similar songs based around melancholic rhythms, overlaid by melodious leads and interspersed with cleanly picked Agallochian arpeggios, and are even reminiscent of Burzum. (The opening lead on "The Trees" sounds suspiciously similar to "The Crying Orc".) The mood that is created is not overwhelming despair, but a delicate melancholy that suggests there is light at the end of the tunnel -- and that light is not brimstone reflected off the reaper's scythe.

The Morningside has chosen to sing in English, an inadvisable option for most Russian bands due to the resulting broken English. The Morningside are much better than many of their compatriots, but they do not grasp the subtle nuances that register on a subconscious level -- for example the opening couplet of "The Wind" ("Just fly through this night / Fly as high to blow up the leaves").

Despite the conceptual ambitions and pleasing melancholic tone, The Morningside are simply too derivative to provide a wholly satisfactory listen.


(article published 15/3/2008)

11/13/2014 C Drishner 8 The Morningside - Letters From the Empty Towns
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