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Moribund Mantras - Golden Void

Moribund Mantras
Golden Void
by Justin "Witty City" Wittenmeier at 03 August 2020, 7:42 AM

MORIBUND MANTRAS is a German blackened doom metal band, formed in 2010.  “Golden Void,” is their second full length album and they also released an EP in 2012. With five tracks and a run time of forty five minutes, “Golden Void,” hits the sweet spot for an album’s length, which made repeated listens easy and highly enjoyable.  The guitar tone is especially potent—the blackened riffs sound like they have been dragged through hell itself. There is a stoner doom feel to much of the album but actually helps make their sound darker, rather than coming off hazy.  Fortunately, L and P don’t rely on tremolo picking only as many of the riffs are a slow groove or thick and deep.

B’s vocals are powerful, caught between a harrowing scream and throaty yell.  There are some cleans as well, echoing some of the stoner doom vibe.  On the low end and rhythm side of the music, there are strong performances but sometimes J’s drumming gets buried in the mix.  But as mentioned, J does a fine job of making his performance work within both the world’s of doom and black metal.  R’s bass is immense and resonating, as any good doom bass should be.

The album opens with “Fragments,” that begins with fuzz laden distortion that quickly grows into fast but robust riffing.  The vocals scream over them, the two elements proving their ability to work together for the benefit of the song.  The bass slaps hard,  tremors of sound coming out in black waves. Around the 4:40 mark, the song drops the distortion for a clean passage.  Here, the clean vocals get a chance to shine, hanging in the air like dead leaves that get caught up in the wind as they float down.

The next track, “Vanishing,” is permeated by a mid paced groove that is infused with a guitar solo in the beginning before clean vocals add a mystic vibe.  At the 2:22 mark, the riffs go to the background, allowing the bass and drums to drop the hammer and help accent the emotional charged screaming before the song settles back into the groove.  The rest of the song has a psychedelic feel, due to the guitar solo and clean vocals.

Praemolestia,” is the longest track at nine minutes and forty four seconds run time.  The first minute or so serves is a skulking, lumbering intro.  The lead guitar grabs these sparse notes and pulls them out into the riffs for a sludgy dirge of black metal.  The song’s middle portion is yet another highlight for the bass and drums, further cementing the importance of R and J’s performances. “Psalm of Rebirth,” is a solemn song drenched in melancholy that laces even the heavier parts.  The band still finds time to throw in plenty of riffs but they are wrapped in their own layer of ominous cues.  The last half the song is a minimalist approach to atmosphere and bridges the heavier ends of the song perfectly.  This song is perhaps my favorite on the album.

The last song is “Ascension,” and it definitely nails the feeling of a constant, rising action that is ever approaching.  This is brought up by the swirling lead guitar and clean vocals that are pushed upward by the bass.    The blackened growls seem all the more harrowing after breaking up that movement.  After a brief respite featuring clean instrumentation, the song gets really crazy with some truly frightening black screams.

All in all, MORIBUND MANTRAS’ “The Golden Void,” is a well balanced mixture of black and doom metal that delivers an interesting but morose symphony of darkness.  It is dark and raw enough to appeal to even the most ardent black metal fans but has more than enough focus on riffs to please the doom lovers out there.  The album has this furious yet arcane and obscure atmosphere to it.

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 8
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

1. Fragments
2. Vanishing
3. Praemolestia
4. Psalm of Rebirth
5. Ascension
R – Bass
L – Guitars
B – Vocals
J – Drums
P - Guitars
Record Label: Naturmacht Productions


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