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Mournful Congregation - The Exuviae Of Gods - Part II review

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Band: Mournful Congregation
Album: The Exuviae Of Gods - Part II
Release date: May 2023

01. Head's Bowed
02. The Forbidden Abysin
03. The Paling Crest

Sometimes, coins have pretty identical sides.

Back when I reviewed The Exuviae Of Gods - Part I, I closed it with "What Part Two will bring is up for future Radu to assess. But my money is on it being another rewarding albeit straight-forward serving of funeral doom metal", and, wouldn't you know it, I was right on the money. Part Two is structurally and stylistically very similar to Part One, which does render this review quite a bit pointless. And as much as I enjoy Mournful Congregation, not only on these two EPs but in general, I do have to admit that it's mostly the completionist in me that wants to get this review done. It might be lazy to rethread what I said in the latest review, but that is a lot of bands' modus operandi, and we wouldn't have been in this mess if there was just one big The Exuviae Of Gods album.

As I mentioned, the structures are pretty similar, with both parts being split into three tracks, and most importantly one of them being a re-recording of a very old song. Both the song from the other EP and this one ("Heads Bowed") come from the band's 1995 demo An Epic Dream Of Desire. And with the only song on that demo ("Miriam") not re-recorded being a 2-minutes long interlude, it's safe to say that now we do have an updated version of (most of) the demo. Re-recording those songs is a pretty good move because it both acknowledges the historical importance of that demo (like seriously, 1995 is still a very early year for funeral doom) and gives it some new life. While I do acknowledge that the lo-fi sound is part of the appeal of that demos, it's still something that does benefit from a renewed recording while still retaining most of its charm.

That said, I'm still baffled about why these two EPs were structured and released the way they were. I do understand the need to release things, even 40-minutes long ones, as EPs as to clearly separate them from the upcoming full-length proper that they confirmed they're working on. I feel like it would've made more sense to group the new songs together and have the entire EP re-recorded separately, and while they're at it, they have another demo from even earlier in 1994 that's also of historical significance and would benefit from a rework. I know the band chose this path for a reason, even if I don't quite get it, but part of the reason why I feel like that would've made more sense is that, while the production quality between the two is the same, you can tell by the songwriting that there's a divide in between the newer and the reworked tracks that finds a band with more that a quarter of a century more experience in making this kind of sound on the newer tracks.

That's just purely about the presentation. You already know the music is good. Hell, "The Paling Crest", with its 18 minutes of runtime, might end up being among my favorite of the band's tracks, and I don't want my approach in this review and my assessment that this is similar to something already heard before to deter anyone from giving this a shot. This isn't just a band revisiting old material to milk it or to try and generate hype for the next album. This is a pioneering act that refined their sound to remain a vital act decades later.

Written on 26.05.2023 by Doesn't matter that much to me if you agree with me, as long as you checked the album out.


Comments: 2   Visited by: 60 users
26.05.2023 - 20:35
Bad English
Tage Westerlund
Dong ding.. What part 3 will bring to us in late mud February?
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
26.05.2023 - 21:01
Written by Bad English on 26.05.2023 at 20:35

Dong ding.. What part 3 will bring to us in late mud February?

The promo confirmed that this is the final part
Do you think if the heart keeps on shrinking
One day there will be no heart at all?

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