Label: Endless Winter
Review by Vard Aman
I have waxed lyrical before about well played Doom Metal, but as it’s been a while let me remind you. Doom Metal is one of the most extreme forms of music around; slow, powerful, stirring, epic and dark. Doom Metal is usually associated with scenarios of despair, sombreness, emptiness and grief; but when played well, it creates an uplifting release through these scenarios: a blissful oneness with the despair and the emptiness. It opens the darkness up so that you may own it and rule it: the powerful, yet haunting atmospheric and melodic sound of desolation consumes you, and as it does so it lifts you up above it as its master and holds you there for as long as you are willing to be ruler of the darkened depths, instead of a mere overlooked unit in the overcrowded shallows.
“Farewell, your life erases me. Forever fail. Forever die…”
And here, if you dare to descend further, you can gaze into the mirror of morion – a mirror of black crystal quartz that can only reflect a darkness greater than your own; a mirror that lets you stare into even darker depths of your subconscious; and reflects each time something darker than before; and so ever deeper it goes and ever darker it becomes. All a little dramatic so far? That is because Mirror Morionis makes some very dramatic music!
“In all other realities, I’ve dug my own graves
To bury myself in every incarnation
To disappear forever
But now I fill them with my dreams
With their cold, fragile corpses…”
See, I told you so! Don’t look into the mirror if you can’t handle it! Mirror Morionis formed officially in 2010 (the creative project having begun in 2005) in the Siberian city of Tomsk, north of Novosibirsk. They play a brand of atmospheric and melodic (Gothic) Doom Metal, in similar vein to early Draconian and Theatre of Tragedy, only bleaker, more desolate and more primitive. The female vocalist, Mirror, sounds closer to a more overwrought version of Sharon Den Adel than the early vocalists of the two aforementioned bands – I’d say this is probably what Sharon Den Adel would sound like if she looked into the mirror of morion and faced her darker darkness. I’d also say that Mirror Morionis is about as bleak as a band can get without venturing completely into Funeral Doom territory (they do mention Funeral Doom as one of their influences, and it does show). Bleak, yes, but it is a hauntingly beautiful and melodic bleakness. In some ways, they remind me of a more atmospheric and melodic version of another Russian Doom Metal band called Amederia…. but enough with the comparisons now.
“Eternal Unforgiveness” was a case of love-at-first-listen for me (as you have probably guessed by now) and it is growing with every listen (…or darkening further with every glance, to keep in line with the theme). The album is full of long, sombre anthems that deliver those bleak and haunting soundscapes relentlessly. The interplay between Mirror and the male vocalist, Cataract, is excellent; as is their interplay with the music. The guitars are typically downtuned and the heaviness underlying the haunting melodies is ever present, helped by a very full and powerful bass. There are also plenty of sombre piano (and atmospheric keyboard) passages throughout. No major chords are even reflected by the mirror of morion, that’s for sure! The songs are all masterpieces, but the two biggest standouts on the album for me have to be named: they are “Her Morion Eyes” (seriously epic; and could have been even more epic lyrically if Cataract had not been hindered by writing in his second language, which I feel caused him to miss a few tricks with the potential for vocal interplay between Mirror and himself – their character roles could have played opposing parts more prominently) and “The Sun Will Never Rise” (especially the combination of the guitar and vocal melodies together when “Farewell, your life erases me, forever fail, forever die” first comes in – it is absolutely stunning – a moment of exceptional musical greatness even on an overall great album that is full of great moments). “Eternal Unforgiveness” could well be considered a concept album as all of the songs cover the same topical themes so all of them are connected in that sense, and some of them are directly connected to each other.
This album is an absolute must for all fans of well-crafted Doom Metal; for those who have looked into the mirror and watched with awe the ever darkening darkness that reflected back at them, embraced it and turned it into art. It is very deep into Doom territory, and one of the best examples of it. For those who have not yet been converted to this kind of music, and to Mirror Morionis specifically, you might first need to overcome your apprehension and fear of what you may see before you dare to look into the mirror, because once you’ve looked, Mirror Morionis will never release you. On the other hand, that might be exactly what you need.
Rating – 95/100
- Towards the Woe
- When Mirror Cries
- Inner Waste
- The Sun Will Never Rise
- Her Morion Eyes
- Diamond Sand
- Graves Filled with My Dreams
- Towards the Loss Within
- Mirror – Vocals
- Cataract – Vocals
- Woland – Guitars
- Gothfather – Guitars
- Dread – Piano
- Gilbert – Bass
- Godgiven – Drums