A new chapter in the saga of The Morningside, a band on its third full-length after the 2007 debut The Trees and the Shadows of the Past, followed in 2009 by Moving Crosscurrent of Time and the 2011 EP Treelogia. The band from the Soviet capital offers melodic doom/death metal in the wake of Katatonia’s early works (the band they refer to most), reinforcing it with injections of melodic death in the style of Dark Tranquillity (this was Projector), and the result can only be, given the good songwriting and the skill of the musicians involved, an excellent work in the genre. Compared to the previous albums, The Morningside give more power to the sound of Letters From The Empty Towns, relegating the rarefied atmospheres and the interventions of clean vocals to occasional breaks in some tracks (On the Quayside), leaving instead a lot of space to the guitars, the absolute protagonists with splendid rhythms and solos that are closer to the prog/death of Opeth rather than to the sound of Agalloch and Ulver as in the first records. Nikitin’s vocals are corrosive and, as always, a trademark of the band that, apart from The Outside Waltz (a beautiful acoustic instrumental), offers songs with a strong dramatic impact, for a journey in that dark metal capable of giving emotions, supported by a first-rate guitar structure: a mature work that grows with listening and that finds in the wonderful Ghost Lights (the song that comes closest to Katatonia) eight minutes of melodic wonders. In fact, at the end of the work, the band, after the outbursts of the first half of the album, relaxes and even in the final Letter gives us a semi-acoustic track, as if the band’s sound were gathering on itself, in a fetal position, after having vented all its anger and thus having reached the end. Good outsiders, The Morningside know how to touch the soul: their difficult music, for these times where even in metal there is the feeling of having to consume everything and at once, in a sort of terrible throwaway, stops time and it is we who must take advantage of it to give ourselves a moment of poetry every now and then; do it, you won’t regret it. (A.Centenari – MetalEyes 29/7/2014)

2014 – BadMoodMan