The mid-late ‘90s in doom metal were a time of flux, moreso than any before or since. On the US front TROUBLE had gone full bloom, from the Sabbathian tones of its classic era into the hazed out, psychedelia-fueled Manic Frustration and Plastic Green Head, whilst on the other side of the Pond, Peaceville’s Big 3 and CATHEDRAL had morphed into entities that – while still miserable as ever – were not what they were at the start. It’s a safe bet, though, that all sub-variations of doom today owe themselves to the exploration of that time, so all that remains for the listener is to decide on which side they stand.
During those turbulent years, though, Italy’s ABYSMAL GRIEF was birthed, and have kept the same mystic, esoteric vibe since. After just over a decade of demos/splits, Mors Eleison arrived, wedding the plod of WINTER to the organ-dominated liturgy of much-mourned THERGOTHON to wondrous effect. Vocally, Labes C. Necrothytus is clearly a graduate of the Stainthorpe School Of Sadness, clear delivery, insuring that the listener is immersed in the same dark waters as he, while Regen Graves shows himself not only willing, but able to step out of the more orthodox realm of doom guitar, unleashing an extended solo in the title track’s climax that is equal parts flash and fury, forlorn and passionately so. And what would a classic Italian doom release be without a PAUL CHAIN cover? Thus, ‘Occultism’ is summoned, more robust than the original, but by and large identical, and definitely reverential to its creator. ‘The Shroud’ may cause attention to wander for some, as it’s really more ambient excursion than proper song, but should manage to hold interest for traditional doom (or even ritual ambient) fans, and leads into the ritual of ‘Mysterium Umbrarum’.
Fans of the aforementioned, greater-known bands would have dug this like a grave back in the days spoken of at the beginning of this review. I know I would’ve. Now, thanks to Sun & Moon Records, we can treat Mors Eleison like the undiscovered gem it is.
Review By: Lord Randall
Sun & Moon Records
4 / 6