The Foam Of Despair by Mourning DawnRelease date: January 12, 2024
Label: Aesthetic Death
Atmosphere is such a vital ingredient when it comes to trying to combine the otherwise disparate genres of black metal with doom, the razor-thin bridge linking two very different shades of complete darkness. Whilst Mourning Dawn once again largely get it right with new offering The Foam Of Despair, they can also be their own worst enemy. Slow and ponderous, of course, but at times it becomes monotonously so; yet elsewhere they demonstrate they can pick the right moments to shift gears and keep the music interesting.
The near-ten minutes of opening track ‘Tombé Du Temps’ itself is a perfect microcosm of the good and the bad contained within. The first riff is a funereal classic, instantly inducing euphoric headbanging; the rasping vocals weaving between bring that blackened chill. Halfway through, it threatens to change tempo, but fails to deliver – and begins drifting off a little. When it does come crashing back in, it almost feels like it was worth the wait. And then finally, we are left with the wailing, discordant saxophone break, a section so horribly jarring and baffling it ruins the entire piece.
Lead single ‘Blue Pain’ does a good job of getting The Foam Of Despair back on track quickly, but the damage has already been done. ‘Borrowed Skin’ acts as a centrepiece, ultimately feeling the most complete and satisfying song from the whole collection. Later on, industrial elements are added to the mix via the hypnotic ‘Suzerain’, enough to keep a level of interest in the latter stages and not confine it immediately to the draw of those instantly forgotten.