Bleakness prevails! That's the conclusion you come up with, after listening to these "five hymns of mystery and despair" released as the third part of PAINIAC RECORDS' "Suicidal Doom Series". Recorded between 1997 and 1998, Australian MOURNFUL CONGREGATION's lamenting dirges are nearly drowning in a tub of melancholy and hopelessness. Although having a growling vocalist, I'd dare to say, that MOURNFUL CONGREGATION are not to be mistaken as just another Death Doom act, as there is definitely more to them than meets the eye. Sometimes reminding me of slower early MY DYING BRIDE (without the violin of course!), though much darker and more accomplished, those guys know how to push the right buttons to make even long songs appear fairly interesting, by incorporating twisted twin guitars as well as moving acoustic parts among other ingredients.
A perfect example must be "Opal of the Stream Beneath the Hills", with it's great ending after the beautiful acoustic break prior to that. It's moments like that, that keeps one interested. Besides the musical quality, the lyrics are also on par, consisting of poems, that may even force the most optimistic of nature to rush to the nearest gallow's pole, especially when it comes to the morbid title track. All in all you get 4 brilliant longer doomy songs + an excellent short instrumental piece lasting for about 45 minutes, graced by a tasteful coverartwork. There's also a highly recommended MOURNFUL CONGREGATION DCD available, released by Japanese WEIRD TRUTH PRODUCTIONS, containing ALL recordings these Australian mourners ever did. Anyway, wether you get those songs on CD or (preferably) on vinyl: "Deserved Doom Shall Be Unto You..." You can contact PAINIAC RECORDS at: Painiac(at)pandora.be. For band contact mail to: MournfulCongregation(at)hotmail.com
(OPOLUS XXXVIII AS)