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Mother Of Graves - Where The Shadows Adorn review

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Band: Mother Of Graves
Album: Where The Shadows Adorn
Release date: October 2022

01. Where The Shadows Adorn
02. Rain
03. Tears Like Wine
04. The Emptiness Of Eyes
05. Of Solitude And Stone
06. The Crown
07. Ghost In The Twilight
08. The Caliginous Voice

In the beginning of 2021, we introduced you to Mother Of Graves via the Clandestine Cuts, where we featured In Somber Dreams, and proclaimed that it would be one of the best EPs you were going to listen to that year. And it was, wasn’t it? So, does the debut full-length live up to the great expectations?

Mother Of Graves are named after a mythological Latvian protector of cemeteries (Kapu māte). Founding guitarist, Chris Morrison, has Latvian roots and chose the name for the band whose music was initially intended to honour the memory of a friend of his who had died. Where The Shadows Adorn is an autumn album. It is made for foggy afternoons, falling yellow leaves, and rain without end. It is beautiful by being emotionally devastating, and it has this unmistakable brooding atmosphere of doom. There are no female vocals, so there is none of that done-to-death ‘beauty and the beast’ gimmick, the violins and the piano are not overused, and the forlorn atmosphere comes mainly from the songwriting, the melodies, and the more common instruments.

The Peaceville Three meet October Tide, Katatonia, and Edge Of Sanity on Where The Shadows Adorn, which makes it an instant love-at-first-listen for me. The track “Rain” has now earned a place next to Enslaved’s “One Thousand Years Of Rain” and October Tide’s “12 Days Of Rain” in my ‘top-songs-to-listen-to-when-the-clouds-are-thick-and-full’ list. The violins, especially, on this song are cutting so deep. “Tears Like Wine” is a chorus-driven, infectious, and bittersweet composition. “The Emptiness Of Eyes” is absolutely pummelling, and a nod to the band members’ death metal roots. “Of Solitude And Stone” features some earth-splitting eruptions and a gorgeous string section in the middle. “The Crown” makes melancholy feel uplifting. “The Caliginous Voice” that closes the album is the longest track, clocking in at 7’22’’, but it never drags because Mother Of Graves put more imposing riffs and mournful melodies in each song than other death doom bands put in an entire album. And I have to also point out how fantastic the vocals are; many bands of the style have these diluted and weak growls but Brandon Howe is absolutely monstrous, and, at the same time, he is almost entirely legible.

It’s no surprise that Dan Swanö endorsed these guys and mastered their EP when they were still virtually unknown. His work on this one is on point once again, and I think it is due to his particular involvement that Where The Shadows Adorn sounds very much like the last two On Thorns I Lay albums.

Death doom bands often either lack dynamism and feel watered-down or employ demolishing heaviness and kill the mood. Mother Of Graves avoid these pitfalls; they hit right in the feels, yet still crush bones. Where The Shadows Adorn is, of course, very reminiscent of the ‘90s, but the passion that has been put into it and the masterful songwriting make it the frontrunner for the award of this year’s best melodic death doom album.

“Flow through me your river of pain
This bitter elixir nourishes my veins”

Written on 07.10.2022 by Only way to feel the noise is when it's good and loud!


Comments: 5   Visited by: 74 users
08.10.2022 - 20:11
Bad English
Tage Westerlund
Nik knows Latvian mythology
Cood man, I like way you speak about autumn.... you for shore love in a wrong country ... winter is near 230 days whit eternal snow
Life is to short for LOVE, there is many great things to do online !!!

Stormtroopers of Death - ''Speak English or Die''

I better die, because I never will learn speek english, so I choose dieing
14.10.2022 - 11:33
Twas some proper doom
Do you think if the heart keeps on shrinking
One day there will be no heart at all?
14.10.2022 - 15:30
Rating: 8

Yep they've done very well here, very accomplished melodic death/doom with some pleasant occasional gothic touches
21.10.2022 - 23:22
Nocturnal Bro
Solid melodeath / doom death! The heavy riffs mixed with mournful melodies and especially the vocals remind me of old Edge Of Sanity and In Flames - some of the first death bands that I listened to. So this also gives me an additional feeling of nostalgia. Definitely a contender for death doom of the year (along with Strigoi, Malignant Aura, Druid Lord, and Yatra for me)
29.01.2023 - 02:43
Rating: 8

Hey Nik, you may add some songs of Clouds in that list.

Overall like you said, great brooding atmosphere, solid for scratching your death doom itch.
Leeches everywhere.

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