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Metal/Prog Metal CD Reviews

Mourning by Morning

A Step Away From Light ; A Step Into Abyss

Review by Gary Hill

I have to admit to not being the biggest fan of extreme metal. Yet, sometimes it really works for me. This is one such instance. I'm reminded most often of Cradle of Filth, but this is less symphonic, cinematic and theatrical. However you slice it, I really like this album a lot.

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Track by Track Review
A Step Away From Light
There is an intricate mellow, rather proggy vibe to the bulk of this track. Yet some blast beat stuff and extreme metal vocals take it in a different direction. This is quite an intriguing blending of sounds. Further down the road it shifts to driving furious metal that makes me think of Cradle of Filth to a large degree.
Bastard Sanctuary
The Cradle of Filth reference is definitely in place as this gets underway. There is a symphonic meets extreme metal vibe early. It gets shifted toward full driving extreme metal zones as it works out from the introductory section. The drumming is ferocious and the vocals are otherworldly. This gets insanely loud and driving.
I Am But A Shadow Beneath You
At about eight-and-a-half minutes long, this is an epic piece in terms of length. It is also epic in scope. This starts rather symphonic in nature, but eventually makes its way to some of the most pounding and extreme metal we've heard to this point. It feels like an epic journey, but there is also a rather dramatic, cinematic vibe that reinforces that feeling.
Onward To My Descent
Coming in dark, brutal and yet cinematic, this is extreme metal through and through. It's also particularly effective. The song does drift into more melodic zones for a time, and there is even a saxophone on that section. Yet it recovers back to the extreme stuff when that part runs through.
As I Bleed
Piano starts this cut and holds it for a short time. The band join in a furious, classically tinged extreme metal arrangement. This is another powerhouse. There are some definite neo-classical moments, but also plenty of brutal metal.
The Night Is Fleeting
They give us more fierce extreme metal here. Yet, as with everything here there is an almost shoegaze thing going on, and that brings a cinematic quality. They take this through quite a few varying sections. Yet it never loses the intensity. There is a more percussive, yet very heavy, bit at the end, followed by a little harp to really close the track.
Beyond The Gates
This pounds in heavy, mean and furious. This is another track that continues to reinvent itself. It has some of the most brutal and driving metal of the whole disc. That's saying a lot given the competition.      
A Step Into Abyss
This track counter-balances mellower modes with fierce ones creating some intriguing drama without losing any intensity. In some ways this track represents all the sides of sound demonstrated on the album. That makes it a great choice for closer.
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