Tag Archives: Mournful Congregation

The Best Metal Albums of 2018

best-metal-2018It’s a bit trite to say that 2018 was a good year for metal; every year is a good year for metal, if you’re willing to put in the legwork. Yet the range of this year’s crop of great albums is particularly impressive. Metalheads were fortunate enough to get multiple new entrants to the canons of funeral doom, atmospheric black metal, old-school death metal, Euro-style power metal, and more. Each one of the albums below (listed alphabetically) is worth spending the rest of your life getting to know.

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A Guide To The Glorious, Miserable World Of Funeral Doom

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Illustrations by Funeral French

Although the seeds of heavy metal’s many subgenres were planted in the 1980s, the early 1990s saw death metal, black metal, grindcore, and more blossom into quests for maximum extremity. Somewhat counterintuitively, doom metal experienced a similar moment of seemingly accidental intensification in the early ‘90s, when a number of bands with death-metal roots began deconstructing that genre by taking the bedrock principles of doom—slow, dark, and heavy—to their natural endpoint. It is from this context that funeral doom was born.
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The Best Metal on Bandcamp: March 2018

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March’s crop of the best metal on Bandcamp includes the triumphant returns of two of Australia’s finest metal bands—funeral doom legends Mournful Congregation and death metal deconstructionists Grave Upheaval. Taken alongside the brilliant new Portal album that came out in January, 2018 is already looking like a contender for the best year for metal from the land down under. Keep it up, Australia.

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Album of the Day: Mournful Congregation, “The Incubus of Karma”

It’s been nearly seven years since Australian funeral doom dealers Mournful Congregation blessed us with a new full-length, and they’ve decided to make up for lost time by delivering an album that clocks in at 80 minutes. For just about any other band, this would be indulgent at best, suicidal at worst. But the fact that The Incubus Of Karma seems to sprawl into infinity is appropriate: this is the kind of music that needs room to breathe. Its six songs don’t play out so much as they unfurl, slouching on slow-motion chord explosions toward gloriously crestfallen climaxes. And while the imperial instrumentals “The Indwelling Ascent” and the acoustically-driven title track—both bejeweled with gorgeous, twin guitar harmonies—breeze by at a mere 3:11 and 5:49 respectively, the other four songs push up against the 20-minute mark. In other words, if you’re looking for a quick metal fix, this might not be the album for you.

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