MOURNFUL CONGREGATION “The Exuviae Of Gods – Part I”

By: Lord Randall

Despite being active since 1993 Australia’s MOURNFUL CONGREGATION can, as the slow inevitable march of time – and of its music – never be accused of rushing to its end. That 2018’s “The Incubus Of Karma” was only its fourth full-length, and now followed by an EP four years hence speaks not so much to the lack of material, but to the great amount of care put into what is released under the MC banner.

One of two new tracks presented on “The Exuviae Of Gods – Part I”, ‘Mountainous Shadows, Cast Through Time’ is ushered in by a near-overbearing organ, less liturgical, more a warning of the sonic planet that’s about to crash into your skull as soon as the rest of MC arrives. Can funeral doom be aggressive? Well, it’s proven so here. Plodding, yes, but purposeful. This is doom with intent, depression with decisiveness. With the majority of the band having played together since 1999, and the two other members being there for over 10 and 7 years respectively, this is a band that knows how to blend the colors of its particular sonic palette to achieve the soundscape (and how to invoke visual imagery within it) that it desires.

Instrumental, “The Exuviae Of Gods” is contemplative, for the most part acoustic, and is a master class in blending the harmonic and disharmonic, electric leads interwoven, passionate and dense without becoming bogged down. There’s much going on within the tune, inviting revisitation, and knowing this song will, as many good songs do, reveal more of itself over time.

The final work presented here is a rerecording of ‘An Epic Dream Of Desire’, the title track from the band’s 1995 demo. If you were there, you’ll appreciate the opportunity to hear something from the early days reinterpreted faithfully, but through the eyes, the ears of the musicians today.

We’ve been told that Part II will arrive late this year or early next. Until then, though, rest assured; “The Exuviae Of Gods – Part I” is more than enough to hold us enraptured until then.