Mournful Gust - She's My Grief ... Decade

The press release sheet for this 2CD set reads re-issue of the legendary album of Ukranian Gothic doom death metal band! It also boasts that this is "state-of-the-art" music. Big claims for a band who myself up to recently and everybody else i have spoken to has never heard the band. Of course labels want to move merchandise and i have no problem with the art of selling product but legendary? One look at the album artwork and you know what to expect from this Ukranian band, its Gothic Doom/Death Metal. As the press release info states, its a re-released of a album recorded in the year 2000. On the second disc called "Decade", you get basically a best of demo recordings from the band. One thing which i find a little strange about the re-issuing, re-mastering of the "She's My Grief" album is the band have only recorded 2 real albums is 11 years as this third release from Mournful Gust being a re-issue of the first album recorded in 2000. This made me think this album must be something really special so i was a little disappointed to find its really no different from the endless quagmire of Goth-Doom outfits from that part of world. Is it bad?, not at all but its just so predictable in its concepts and musical delivery that i would have thought a brand new album would have been a more creative thing to do.

One element to the sound of Mournful Gust's sound that is the vocals of Vladislav Shahin who also performs in Autumnia. The exceptional vocal delivery stands out as a feature on the recording but everything else is just well - ordinary. The songs on "She's My Grief" were written by former guitarist Alexander Glavniy who is a accomplished musician as is all the musicians involved in Mournful Gust. I will never have a bad word to say about their musical ability, its finely tuned, classy playing throughout but the songs just don't shine in anyway. Its for the most part, experimental and complex with the added addition of female vocals (it is Gothic Doom after-all), violins and flutes also make a appearance. There is a total of some 6 musicians in the band with 4 more adding various elements to the pieces. While heavy riffs do feature from time to time, most of the songs are based around delicate, elegant melody's and the usual melancholic Goth trademarks. The songs do evoke some kind of atmosphere but most of it sounds tired, recycled heavily from 90's Goth bands and lacks any real catchiness. When it does work, its pretty powerful stuff however. "Path Of My Tears" is a good track that never gets dull over the course of 8 minutes and "I Saw Her Sad Eyes" at least gets me intrigued and slightly mesmerized. The rest is pretty forgettable, standard Gothic, Death, Doom material that just bores me these days.

The second disc "Decade" is a real pain to listen to because you get three different versions of "The Cold Solitude" from the "Frankness Eve" album which is much much better than She's My Grief" in my opinion. Even though "The Cold Solitude" is a great track, sitting through three different versions of it is just too much for me to handle and i subjected myself to this form of torture at least 6 times before starting this review. Elsewhere you get other tracks from that album including "A Pain to Remember" and "It's Our Own Tragedy". While  these are demo versions of these pieces, they do sound good but still nothing compared to the versions on "The Frankness Eve" album released in 2008. The Decade disc is purely a "for fans only" disc and me being basically tired of the whole Goth-Doom scene anyway left me bored to tears especially towards the end of the CD. If you are a fan of the Euro-Doom scene especially the Gothic genre, you will find something to like about this though. While i have basically torn this album apart with petty judgments on Gothic Doom and the Mournful Gust's predictability factor, the musical skills are without question, top notch. I just find the whole European fixation of Goth-Doom to be very one dimensional and very tedious these days and She's My Grief...Decade is one of the worst examples of it. Ok start typing hate-mail now, my ranting and raving review is over.

CD1 “She’s My Grief”

1. The First Spring Without You

2. Path Of My Tears

3. Once We Were Happy

4. Sweet Embrace Of Scarlet Twilight

5. I Saw Her Sad Eyes

6. As A Wingless Bird

7. …And We Shall Die Together

CD2 “…Decade”:

1. A Pain To Remember (demo version)

2. It’s Our Own Tragedy (demo version)

3. To Your Deceits…Again (demo version)

4. The First Spring Without You (Somnolent version)

5. I Saw Her Sad Eyes (Stas Mischenko version)

6. The Cold Solitude (Soundform & Practical Senses version)

7. The Cold Solitude (Alexander Naydenov version)

8. The Cold Solitude (demo version)

9. With Every Suffering (Video Clip)

Badmoodman Records
Reviewer: Ed
Jul 21, 2010

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