9/10 – Susanne Sinmara
Oh, now this is a rather peculiar album. Standing out from the mass of black/dark metal albums, largely due to the clever use of a violin (don’t run away yet!) If you are one of those – like me – who aren’t keen on violins normally, I’d urge you to give Mourning Mist a chance. They hail from Italy (you won’t notice that at all), and this is their debut album – well, that’s my guess, since there isn’t much information online.
Yes, the violin is predominant and almost in constant use, rivalling with the rhythm guitar for attention. Yet it becomes hypnotic, the frantic shredding conjuring up visions of a madman playing the violin in a 17th century chamber, accompanied by an equally frenzied band. It helps a lot that the sound is organic and full, each instrument perfectly balanced in the mix.
Rise And Decay has such a beautiful violin lead, it’s almost heart breaking. There’s a slight progressive touch to the whole album, without getting lost into too much shredding – just the right amount of ideas to keep the interest up. Some of it sounds very back to basics (Torment), whilst others are more progressive (Rage). Ok, now I notice the Italian touch. There’s the guitar solo fighting the violin again.
The vocals are between shouty, spoken word and hoarse, sometimes changing to a whisper in the background and perfectly accompanying the violin. Throw in a few samples and there’s enough going on to keep your ears satisfied. You discover new things every time you listen to it again.