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Mournful Congregation – The Exuviae Of Gods – Part 1

Mournful Congregation
The Exuviae Of Gods – Part 1
by Justin "Witty City" Wittenmeier at 13 June 2022, 5:40 AM

MOURNFUL CONGREGATION is a Funeral doom band from Australia who formed in 1993. "The Exuviae of Gods - Part 1" is their second EP. They have also released five full length albums, four splits, three compilations, and two demos. Despite my love for doom, I've gone my entire life without hearing this band’s music up until now. As "Exuviae of Gods - Part 1" is my first experience with them, I don't have any basis of comparison for what I'm hearing which means I’m going in unbiased as much as possible. What am I hearing? A well rounded piece of music that is more than the average EP. At 37 minutes in length, it is longer than a lot of albums—and the content is wide in scope with a lot of variety because each of these three songs are different from each other.

"Mountainous Shadows, Cast Through Time," is the first track and it is straight up somber, funeral death/doom. However, it is also melodic and the band makes good use of having three guitarists. Despite the triple ax attack, the bass isn't buried under it all.  The production and mixing is solid as hell too and no doubt that helps. Just over fourteen minutes in length, the song flows pretty well and stays interesting throughout. I think one of those reasons is the song is constantly cavernous but relies on layered melody to build a dense atmosphere. The vocals are deep and guttural, always ensuring the song remains brutal even when it really isn't.

The second song is the instrumental  track, "Exuviae of Gods," which is quite a bit shorter than the other two tracks. The song is solid but doesn't really reach the heights of the others. With a shortened run time, it doesn't really have enough time to build up to anything memorable. The final cut, "An Epic Dream Of Desire," is actually my favorite of the three. It is apparently a re-recording of a song from their demo days but it is obviously fresh to me.  The beginning builds up nicely, the band obviously putting much care into the buildup.

This one trades death doom for a strong Gothic presentation and replaces growls with clean spoken word.  The sweltering, heavy guitar offsets the Gothic tendencies a bit to ensure the song stays as stark as the first track. It is the ending that gets to me: thick and slow riffs that swirl into surprisingly sweeping and soaring keys. All in all, MOURNFUL CONGREGATION’s "Exuviae of Gods - Part 1" is an engaging long EP that left a good first impression on me. It is a fe to say I'm a fan and looking forward to the second part.

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

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Mountainous Shadows, Cast Through Time
2. The Exuviae Of Gods
3. An Epic Dream Of Desire
Lineup:
Ben Petch - Guitars
Damon Good - Vocals, Guitars
Justin Hartwig  - Guitars
Ben Newsome - Bass
Tim Call – Drums
Record Label: Osmose Productions
     


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