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Mourning Soul – Chaosophy - Ritual II

Mourning Soul
Chaosophy - Ritual II
by Gary Hernandez at 07 June 2021, 4:08 PM

MOURNING SOUL began its existence in Enna, Italy as a one-man project. That was 2003. Since that time, Sacrifice (vocals, bass, synths) has been joined by Nocturnal Fog (drums, guitars) and Decrepit (guitars) to expand the project into a proper Black Metal trio. On May 3, 2021, the band released their second full-length album, “Chaosophy – Ritual II,” which is a follow-up to their 2016 “Ego Death – Ritual I.” The album comprises five tracks and clocks out at 38 minutes. It’s some pretty messed up Black Metal — which is to say, there’s some high-potency vileness going on here — which is to say, this is damn good album.

MOURNING SOUL is sometimes described as Norwegian or SWBM. At times it is wonderfully melodic and at others gruesomely discordant. It’s when these two approaches are juxtaposed that MOURNING SOUL is at their best. With tracks extending past the seven-minute mark, the band takes the time to build complex song structures that exploit both of these spaces as well as several in between. For instance, “(Possession) Lacrimae Rerum” begins with an explorative riff that spreads into a Doom tempo and later deconstructs then resurrects into a whole new beast.

Though marked with cacophonous dissonance, the production is more nuanced than lo-fi. I mean the bass gets lost and the drums are a bit flat, but there is also some clean separation, especially with the guitars. The vocals are also well differentiated from the consuming grayscape. Periodically, the bottom drops out and atmospheric synths rise and fall. Altogether the effect is compelling and disturbing, like fog and darkness and shifting shadow.

Interestingly, the final track, “(Death) Selenic Silentium,” brings the album to a close with a two-minute field recording — which might be from an actual ritual, hence the album title — underscored with a disquieting ambient melody. When “Chaosophy - Ritual II” ends you are left with mixed feelings. There’s certainly the echo of an aggressive din, but there is also the reverberation of something more pensive and provoking. This isn’t your typical onslaught of mindless riffs and blast beats.

Altogether, MOURNING SOUL leaves a mark on the listener — maybe like a nightmare you can’t shake, maybe like a scar that won’t heal. Or maybe just like a really satisfying riff that you feel from your neck to your soul. Black Metal enthusiasts will appreciate “Chaosophy – Ritual II,” others need not apply.

Songwriting: 7
Musicianship: 7
Memorability: 6
Production: 7

3 Star Rating

1. (Obedience) Spiritual Disease
2. (All Processes) Son of Perdition
3. (Possession) Lacrimae Rerum
4. (Destruction) Ayon Teleos
5. (Death) Selenic Silentium
Sacrifice – Vocals, Bass, Synths
Nocturnal Fog – Drums, Guitars
Decrepit – Guitars
Record Label: Ascension Records


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Edited 07 June 2023

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