Although this is already the third full length under this moniker, I must admit that I have never intercepted it before. On the other hand, it stands to reason that, being one of the many guises of the hyperactive Maurice de Jong, The Sombre may have been compressed between the releases spread across the fifteen or so of his currently active projects, the most known of which is undoubtedly the one called Gnaw Their Tongue, where the Dutch musician has earned a good name for himself in underground metal circles. With respect to the experimental and noisy vein taken to its extreme consequences in that case, with The Sombre de Jong demonstrates his ability to handle death doom with great competence, offering in Monuments of Grief a good example of dark sounds, often veined with a widespread melodic afflatus, and close to funeral in more than one juncture. Considering that from a musician of this type one always expects passages out of the box or digressions in oblique directions, this work paradoxically surprises for the linearity and fidelity with which the good Maurice weaves about forty minutes of mournful sounds that convince right from the opener From the Depths of Misery, to then find a peak of not indifferent quality in the melancholic The Mourning Gloom and closing with the rhythmic increase of the equally beautiful Paradise Regained. In summary, Monuments of Grief reveals itself to be another remarkable album in which the re-proposition of death doom in its most sorrowful guise is as apt and convincing as ever, all the more so because its consistent adherence to the dictates of the British school of the early nineties comes from a musician preceded by the reputation of a tireless experimenter and this obviously speaks in favour of his versatility.

2022 – Chaos Records