What the hell happened here? Don’t get me wrong, I was expecting something good just as much as the next guy – it’s Mourning Beloveth after all – just not this good. It’s not as if the style shifted that drastically as the biggest change is a reinforced presence of Irish folk themes which can be for instance heard in “The Mantle Tomb”. It’s really the way the songs are written and recorded, with much more layers and generally a sound fuller than before. Together with the aforementioned folk elements, this gives the whole record a sense of grandiosity, turning what would once be a harsh but dry scream into something seemingly much more urgent and overflowing with feeling – something definitely helped by the stellar performances of both Brennan and Moore.
It sounds big, it sounds pretty fucking huge. A bit like Primordial, but fully within the doom metal realm. Let me step back a bit here though. If you’ve heard “Rust & Bone” then the next few lines will be familiar territory for you, if not then turn everything off except the music, tell your friends to shut up or fuck off and blast that mammoth of a song by the name of “Godether”, the album opener (if you end up deciding to also play it time and time again after the record ends don’t worry, you ain’t the only one). The slow build up taking around twelve minutes is fantastic in and of itself but it’s that cathartic explosion of the last section that will most likely give you goosebumps. For once, something worth being called epic, an epithet too easily thrown away.
Insofar as both the violently cathartic and beauty filled moments working to perfection during the record, it should be noted that such elements of ecstasy are constantly surrounded by melancholic and sorrowful passages, thus following something that should be obvious: if you’re going to give the listener that feeling of release, you gotta soak him in misery first. Perhaps the title of the last track can be seen not only as a reference to the theme of the song itself, evoking the memory of four iconic and executed Irish participants of the Easter rising, but to the overall aesthetics of “Rust & Bone” which owes as much to that which is terrible, to the notions of dread and sorrow as it does to beauty.