Mourning Beloveth / The Ruins of Beverast - Don't Walk on the Mass Graves (split)
Van Records
Doom, Experimental Black Metal
2 songs (19:36)
Release year: 2020
Bandcamp, Van Records
Reviewed by Goat

Irish doom/death squad Mourning Beloveth and German one-man experimental blackened project The Ruins of Beverast aren't the two most obvious bands to come together on a split release at first glance. Yet Alexander von Meilenwald has been introducing more doom influences on recent Ruins of Beverast albums, and the two tracks here have enough similarities to make it of interest to fans of either band, even before considering that this is the first new material from the German since 2017 and the Irish since 2015! It's one of the better examples of bands complimenting each other's styles if not quite producing the same genre; making a compelling split release is something of a dying art, even in the metal underground, and it's a pleasure to find such a fine example of what can be achieved here.

Mourning Beloveth kick proceedings off with I Saw A Dying Child in Your Arms, a suitably melancholic piece that fills the nine-minute running time with strident, powerful clean singing and strummed, restrained backing instruments. It's closer to countrymen Primordial than what you would expect from a doom/death band, atmospheric and rather beautiful in an understated way particularly towards the end where the vocals turn wordless and the instrumentation swells into an almost post-rock-flavoured peak. As it fades, it's perhaps a little too easy to dismiss as the weaker of the two songs but after multiple listens it certainly grows on you; a reminder to relisten to the band's other work for myself at least.

The Ruins of Beverast as a project will always be an objection of fascination just for what emerges from von Meilenwald's mind, and the nearly ten minutes of Silhouettes of Death's Grace is no exception. Those tribal influences explored on 2017's Exuvia are entirely absent here. Opening with echoing, hard to understand spoken word the song soon shifts towards echoing, formless doom-tinged riffing and blackened backing keyboards; vocals the sort of choked gasps familiar from Burzum before a mix of vocals, distant howls and muffled growls mixing together. It builds into a more violent and pounding wall of noise before switching to something a little more melodic before slowing and fading away with a spoken female voice atop samples. A little on the strange side thanks to the intro and outro, more esoteric than the Mourning Beloveth offering's grandiose misery, but overall a compelling blackened doom piece and a fine conclusion to the EP. More than worth your ears; hear (and purchase) this at the Bandcamp link above.

Killing Songs :
Both, but Silhouettes of Death's Grace is the superior piece
Goat quoted no quote
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