Mournful Congregation The Book of Kings

Mournful Congregation The Book of Kings
The early autumn release of The Unspoken Hymns compilation from Australia's Mournful Congregation was intended to whet fans' appetites for their new opus, The Book of Kings, though the former holds only a brief candle to the epical vastness of the latter. Not a single chord is wasted or oblique ― every guitar strum or drum strike is intended for maximum gloom. Four epics are contained within either 12- or 20-minute slabs, with the title track clocking in at a fantastic 33 minutes. "The Catechism of Depression" is funeral doom at its best: melancholic chord progressions and sparse drums played at largo tempos, with bassist Damon Good's modulated growls yawning like the bottomless chasms within. At slightly over ten-and-a-half minutes, a gentle acoustic passage arises for two minutes, as the track slips back into the muck. "The Waterless Streams" has a quiet, transitional segment that's reminiscent of Rush's "Discovery," from 2112, before assuming a heavier mantle of despair. "The Bitter Veils of Solemnity" is a moody piece with uplifting arrangements, before the hammer comes down with the half-hour title track. Mournful Congregation are not at all preaching to the converted, as they once again take the subgenre to new heights of doom's nadir with The Book of Kings. (20 Buck Spin)