Ah, MOURNING BELOVETH, responsible for some of the most crushingly nihilistic Doom to ever grace our hardened ears back in the early noughties. 2001's "Dust" shortly followed by "The Sullen Sulcus" make up what is certainly amongst some of the best the genre has to offer. The band's poetically abjective lyricism is quite reminiscient of MY DYING BRIDE, complete with the very same Death/Doom dynamic we both know and love.
The five-piece from Kildare, Ireland tainted my Doom virginity many years ago, and continue to astound whenever I approach. But what of the band's 2008 (and as of May 2012 their most recent) full-length "A Disease for the Ages"? Well, I'll start by saying that it's a different approach this time around, a continuation of sorts to 2005's "A Murderous Circus" which served to mark a considerable change in the bands tone. The disparate soundscapes that have defined modern Doom over the past decade are largely replaced here by a more epic approach, a bit like Leif Edling joined OPHIS and no one told us.
The 13-minute opener "The Sickness" demonstrates the bands newer sound in an absolute fashion, with vocalist Frank Brennan belting out his worldly dissatisfaction with gusto. "Trace Decay" continues this even further with its clean/dirty duet vocals and catchy chorus (well I thought so), it's made quite clear very early on that the band have travelled quite a way since "Dust." Though I'm not insinuating that they've become less emotive as a result, the power of MOURNING BELOVETH remains, just with the altered bearings that have made their latest developments so intreguing to hear. Though fragments of the bands early sound are still finely represented in the first half of "Primeval Rush," a decidedly fierce funeral dirge which culminates into a six-minute chug-a-thon. Hey, when we're talking Doom it's always greater than it looks written down.
"A Disease for the Ages" is yet another breathtaking release from a band who simply want nothing more than to make you unhappy, then buy their album. Do yourself a harm and take a good long listen to MOURNING BELOVETH, there are so few who do it better.
(Online June 23, 2012)