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Released: 2002, My Kingdom Music
Reviewer: Michael De Los Muertos
Deinonychus is a doom band with members from various countries in Europe, and I was surprised to learn that they’ve been around a long time. While their name is vaguely familiar to me I haven’t heard any of their previous four full-length albums prior to MOURNUMENT. I’m a sucker for doom metal, so I dove into this release eagerly, and I found some very good things and also some things I didn’t like as much.
When Deinonychus cranks it up and brings out the heavy riffage, the results are magical. “Odourless Alliance,” for example, is a classic doom metal song with a downtuned sound, thick swampy guitar riffs and a good rhythm, even some melody buried under the layers of tortured aural sadness. “The Crimson Tides--Ocean of Soliloquy Part II” is a doomhead’s dream, extremely slow, heavy, plodding and angry, harking back to the good old days when Bethlehem used to do this kind of stuff much better than they do now. Sometimes, however, MOURNUMENT wanders off the track. On some tracks, such as “Tantalised In This Labyrinth,” the band lets the keyboard sound drive the songs instead of the guitars, and the whole thing veers dangerously close to that dreadful rehashed “ambient metal” territory that so many newer, lesser bands mistake for true doom metal. Thankfully that doesn’t happen often. I would have liked to have heard a consistent traditional doomy vibe all the way through, but Deinonychus comes close enough to it to score this as a very good doom album. Check out their cover of Candlemass’s “Ancient Dreams.” It doesn’t match the original, obviously--and that “ambient metal” vibe gets just a little too strong--but it’s not bad, and at least keeps the band rooted in the atmosphere of the old classics.
A couple of nitpicks: I really don’t like Marco Kehren’s voice. All throughout the album he varies from an anguished shout to a hoarse whisper, and neither comes off particularly well. Also, I’m not one to usually mention album packaging in a review, but the CD jewel case insert for MOURNUMENT is one of the most frustrating album booklets I’ve ever come across. It’s so damned dark and at times the typeface is rendered so “ghostly” that you literally can’t read the words on some of the pages. On the whole MOURNUMENT is a good album, but I’m left with a sense that these guys could really make a tremendous name for themselves if they keep firmly in mind the hallowed tenets of doom metal: make it slow, make it dark but always, always keep it as heavy as possible.
1. Pluto’s Ovoid Orbit
2. Salus Deceived
3. Odourless Alliance
4. Tantalised In This Labyrinth
5. The Crimson Tides--Ocean of Soliloquy, Pt. II
6. Unknown (title is illegible--see my complaint above about album packaging)
7. A Misleading Scenario
8. The Obscure Process of Metamorphous
9. Arrival In Mesopotamia
10. Ancient Dreams
11. Ascension--The 40th Day After Easter
Marco Kehren -- lead/rhythm guitars, bass, vocals
William Sarginson -- drums
Arkdae -- keyboards
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