The first track “Azure Eyes” starts with, shifts away from and ends up back in a gentle melody of yearning. What lies between is post black metal riffing, all shimmering gloriously and beautifully. A strong start and the perfect set up for what’s to come…
Track list: Azure Eyes, At Heart, Bleakness, The Bride of Ice, I Wander, Underneath The Pressure Of The Sea, Wintertide.
Shimmering guitar licks are complemented by sweeping key passages. Drums rise and fall, plod and blaze with anger. We’re treated to a barrage of depression and plunged into a world where hope is always there but seems just so out of reach. All of it, suitable to whisk us away if we let it. Do you want to reach into that corner of your soul? This album hits some major points on its journey. It’s an album that paints a longing sorrow with ever widening strokes. It’s one that can still bang and shriek with a great deal of ferocity that majorly speaking, doesn’t kill the always there, always present; desperation. A memorable triumph of doom laden emotion.
Of particular note is the song writing itself (and that’s a bloody good thing) because the quality of writing is where the magic lies in all albums. There’s no riff 1, riff 2 going on here. We’re given layers of texture that overlap, cascade and crescendo, all of it building real and genuine atmosphere. Vocals stick to a tortured soul screeching approach and they’re handled well enough but what I want to convey here is that really Mourning by Morning could have done with a little more variety. Perhaps even some crying and wailing, it really would have suited.
I can hear an obvious Death influence in some of the lead guitar work. An Alcest influence spread about wholeheartedly and more than a hint of Bonjour Tristesse. Post Black, yes but paying homage and salutation to forefathers from around the globe, Mourning by Morning are all the stronger for it.
The more I listen to Mourning by Morning the more I realise something that maybe even Sörjande doesn’t. From a critical point of view, this is a lesson to the pretenders out there, this is how things should be.