Doom death metal is a sub-genre that has been around for almost thirty years now and has been made popular by the pioneers of the past (Paradise Lost, Katatonia, Anathema and My Dying Bride). In my opinion, this genre is one of the hardest to keep originality going as many bands really do sound like the pioneers and lack their own sound. Russia’s Mourner are not the case here. With Apogee Of Nihility being their debut, you can hear the originality mixed with influences of the past. The relatively new group who formed last year, have shown in only a year’s time of being a band, that they know how to stay original but also put some creative ideas into their own sound.
Apogee Of Nihility is an album that sounds like if you were to put Katatonia’s Sounds of Decay, Paradise Lost’s Gothic, a generous serving of melodic elements and a dash of old school death metal into a blender. There are a lot of influences from the doom death pioneers here but there are a lot of unorthodox ideas also thrown into the mix to make this not just a straight forward doom death release. The track Slaves Of Fate for example, utilizes transitions from old school death metal riffs and pulverizing drums to doom and gloom slow instrumentals. There are some dancing melodies in the background of each track that also add to the atmosphere. Another added original touch is the tempo changes that go between being traditional doom pace and fast, aggressive old school death metal and even a little black metal riffage. The vocals are very reminiscent of the old days crossing the lines of traditional doom death and old school gutturals.
This album is an exceptional debut from this new band. Is it anything different from any other doom death metal release? Of course it is, it has so much to offer the listener with so many refreshing riffs and epic transitions. Not a single track is a drone or a bore. If you are a fan of bands like Paradise Lost, Anathema, Katatonia and My Dying Bride but want a little extra kick to their sound, then Mourner is the band for you.
Overall Score: 8.0/10
Review by Neil Andersen