Since reforming in 2016 Swedish Doom machines Mourning Sign are set to release their latest, heaviest and if anything slightly more prog sounding doom venture Contra Mordum. The first release since the bands departure from the scene in 1997 making this release filled with a sense of headbanging nostalgia and enough new tricks up their sleeves to really show that Mourning Sign are back and are as strong as ever.
The album opens with track ‘Dualism’ a true demonstration of what is to follow with the rest of the album.
The track in true Doom Metal style is a heavy, gritty opener with those blood curdling vocals intertwined with guitar melodies truly setting their niche. The track features quite heavily progressive style guitar melodies that works so very much with an overall dark, bleak theme which plays into their hands very much breaking the mould of pre-existing material.
The album then continues to deliver the blows with a continuous thrashing of neck snapping goodness you can’t help tapping along to the almost reminiscent Death Metal beats provided by the drums throughout several tracks, if not the album. Prime examples delivered on tracks such as ‘Homage to a Dying World’ a lashing just a big as the opener the track continues to show how much they are bringing in all areas being a darker, nastier track with a true gold standard doom metal sound. ‘Sleep’ continues to deliver on more fronts, beginning with a seriously impressive guitar melody, then quickly followed by that crushing beat to tie the track together in true classic Doom Metal vibes with a new twist from the guys.
However, that's not to say that it’s flawless, there are a few cases where the styles falter, for example ‘Nest Of Vipers’ or ‘These Scars’; they feel a little like a bombardment of sound, hard to decipher at all, and can end up being a bit too chaotic and, altogether, hard to pick out all the details of the track to really appreciate them. This causes the tracks to may not be for everyone. Lyrically some tracks are a little stale and don’t seem to portray a very deep bedrock, however on instances referring back to ‘Sleep’, a peppering of clean vocals gives an uplifting and harmonious feel accompanied with the wailing guitars its truly something very niche to the genre.
Contra Mordum certainly would appear like a grand re-entry into the scene to which Mourning Sign have not been a part of since the late 90’s. This certainly shows that they haven’t missed a step and continue to deliver what we have come to expect: songs filled with nostalgic feeling metal vibes, complemented with new and experimental sounds to really make the tracks something different and fresh. Not to say that the album didn’t come with it’s niggling issues or a few tweaking issues but in reality the album is a great confirmation back into the scene.