Abysmal Grief: “Mors Eleison” MLP

After a number of intriguing singles, it was only a matter of time before the damned trio delivered a more substantial recording and this MLP is exactly what they needed to cast into the underground in order to fortify their position at its forefront. The compositions, the performance, the packaging and the concept that binds them displays a marked refinement of their dark art. But let there be no doubt. This is occult horror music on a grandiose scale and should not be approached lightly because the magical currents will only drag you down. Of the four songs on offer, each one has a discernable flavour from the next. The title track opens proceedings on a firm yet ominous footing. Chords give way to a devastating riff, thunderous percussion and the oozing flow of organs before the recitation proper beings. Whilst low, ordered and restrained, the effect is deeply unsettling and the closing lead break is the perfect climax. Plodding on undeterred, they tackle “Occultism” by Paul Chain with deference and skill. True to the original, the great song is easily recognisable, although with a stroke of genius, Regen Graves has replaced the phonetic lyrics with his own words and retained the metre so as not to disrupt the flow.  This is how a band should pay homage and given my high regard for Paul Chain, this praise does not come wantonly. On the reverse, the band explores quite a different, almost experimental path., where the role of the guitar is less prominent, although that need not read that the material is less heavy.. Far from it. Thus, “The Shroud” is dominated by haunting narrations, possibly some form of rite, which rises and falls accordingly, against the backdrop of simple, yet effective, orchestration. Finally, coming full circle, howling winds punctuate the narrow spaces of “Mysterium Umbrarum” and in doing so, catch not only the devilish song of a clarinet, but also, another secret ceremony where the voices of Tony Tears, Elisa Lovisolo and their colleagues will chill bones. Steeped in the Italian tradition, Abysmal Grief has come of age.


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