The Ukrainian band Mournful Gust have a long history behind them, but For All The Sins is only their third full-length, this time published by Solitude Productions, the real “mother house” of all the doom metal of Eastern Europe (and not only). Listening to a work of this kind, as always, is likely to divide the audience because it contains the merits and demerits of most of the gothic death doom releases of recent years. In front of an originality mostly absent, we find in fact a series of songs with great charm and performed in an optimal way; the question that arises spontaneously is this: if we allow the masters (in any stylistic field) to quote themselves endlessly, why can’t we do the same with those who follow in their footsteps, maybe even resulting superior in intensity and conviction? In fact, Mournful Gust, with this latest album, partially get rid of the cumbersome presence of My Dying Bride, which hovered in The Frankness Eve, moving the coordinates towards a gothic doom more enjoyable and less dark accents, but still ending up in land already widely beaten. This is a destiny from which no modern band can seriously think of escaping but, if the results are those of For All The Sins, I feel I can close this too long parenthesis with a nice “who cares”… Just to reassure the detractors, I immediately clarify that in every phase of the album Mournful Gust remind different bands of different extraction, allowing at the same time to escape the risks of a monolithic proposal. The opener Sleeping With My Name, combined with a very well edited video, shows without hesitation the skills of the Ukrainian band capable of weaving melancholic and refined plots, while in the following Keep Me Safe From The Emptiness and Falling In Hope the sound is close to that of the leading band of melodic death doom of the last decade, or the magnificent Swallow The Sun, and the same happens in the beautiful Your White Dress. Another common trait with the Finnish masters is the presence of a singer able to show an expressive and deep growl alternating with clean vocals absolutely adequate; I would even go so far as to say that Vlad Shahin, in this specific genre, is absolutely the best singer in a hypothetical combined ranking of the various vocal registers. Exemplifying in this regard the performance in songs like Let The Music Cry and This Drama Will Be The Last in which the vocal emphasis of the singer provides the classic added value to a melodic carpet of great emotional impact. Vlad’s voice leads the band to touch territories close to the most evocative Evergrey, it’s enough to hear the heartfelt acoustic version of Let The Music Cry to bring back the feelings of a song like Different Worlds, or he pushes himself to high notes of “Gillanian” style in the enveloping symphonic atmosphere that distinguishes Words Of Farewell. This last cue shouldn’t be entirely accidental in light of the album’s closing track, Rainbow Eyes, a cover of one of the iconic songs of 70s hard rock. The first listening of For All The Sins could be perplexing, just because the sound sometimes seems to push too much on a more enjoyable gothic side, but it must be said that the perseverance in deepening the contents is rewarded in the long run, thanks to a series of songs of undoubted value and able to remain well impressed in the memory. Mournful Gust have composed the album that could allow them to cross the borders of the former Soviet Union in terms of fame; after all, it is right that the Ukrainian band can finally reap the benefits of a long work that has brought them to a level absolutely adequate to the standards of the best known bands in the industry.
2013 – BadMoodMan Music