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Rating:
8.6
Caïna - Mourner
19 July 2007


01. Waves Engulf A Pier
02. Hideous Gnosis
03. The Sleep Of Reason
04. Constantine The Blind
05. I Reeled In Heaven
06. Morgawr
07. Requiem For Shattered Timbers
    1 - Overture
    2 - Arc of Piss
    3 - Ruined Shore
08. Permaneo Carmen
09. Wormwood Over Albion


It would be fair to state that a country like England is not really known for it's amazing Black Metal scene. While Norway, France and the eastern part of Europe all have respected scenes with a trademark sound and a couple of bands that raise the banners high, England tends to fall behind in this area. However, the lack of a trademark sound can also be a positive thing. Take Caïna, who have released there latest album Mourner this year and sound absolutely fresh and overwhelming. It might require a couple of spins, but it is well-worth it.

Often being tagged as Post-Black Metal, a term which cloaks more than it clarifies, this one-mans-band combines acoustic strumming and very fragile, clean vocals with very raw, abrasive Black Metal. And in some songs there is even some Dark Ambient thrown into them. One might frown his left or right eyebrow upon hearing this, but it should be known to the world that such a mix can very well work! It does require well-acquainted ears of the recent evolutions in the Black Metal scene due to it's great variety in expression. Those who are still stuck at the beginning of the Second Wave will probably find nothing of appreciation in this release.

With every song having different proportions of the aforementioned styles, no song sounds alike. The dark noise-like ambience of "Waves Engulf A Pier" sounds as if from a completely different album than "Constantine The Blind", a somber and grey song with admirable use of the acoustic guitar and spoken word. Yet, when listening to this album on a whole they connect with each other, and become an over-an-hour-long work of fragility and sporadic outbursts of hate. These feelings are best captured in the aforementioned Constantine, but also in the sixth track "Morgawr" and the closing track "Wormwood Over Albion".

As 'weakness' is the main emotion that is conveyed on Mourner, don't expect the vocals to portray strength or any other of the usual Black Metal aesthetics suchs as 'icy' or 'grim'. A better word to describe the shrieked vocals is 'ugly'. Really, the desperate cry-outs sound horrible, yet that is exactly why they sound so good. When you want to personify depression and translate it to music in it's rawest and ugliest form, then there is no room for beautifully sung melodies. While they may not appeal to everyone, they are essential to the atmosphere. Same goes for the clean vocals. At times they are just painful to listen to, but after all, that is why we started to listen to this music at first, right?

All in all I was really taken by surprise from this great release, and it will no doubt rank high on my 'best of 2007' list. If you are also getting a bit bored of today's metal scene and are looking for something that takes it's influences also from outside, give Mourner a spin.

Performance: 9
Songwriting: 8
Originality: 9
Production: 8


Band profile: Caïna
Album: Mourner


 



Written on 25.11.2007 by
Lucas
If you're interested in extreme, often emotional and underground music, check out my reviews. I retired from reviewing, but I really used to be into that stuff.
More reviews by Lucas ››



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Baz Anderson - 25.11.2007 at 00:20  
nicely written review, but I know I didn't start listening to music to overcome some crippling mental state - it makes me wonder, isn't this kind of "black metal" if you want to call it that, just an elitists version of what other people might call "emo".. all the weakness and depression and all

I must be stuck in some inferior phase obviously because I do not appreciate this kind of black metal. hahahaha

really nicely written review though
Queen Of Hippies - 25.11.2007 at 01:51  
I definitely agree with this review. "Mourner" is a great release. Unlike someone here, I do feel what you tried to express in this review, and you did it well. But I have to say, the clean vocals are not ugly! and there is melody. Well, at least, I think there is .
Damnated - 25.11.2007 at 16:47  
damn, i've become a fan of you're reviews

the clean vocals are indeed ugly. imo Mourner is a letdown after the brilliant Some People Fall, but still breath of fresh air after I, Mountain.
Rupert - 25.11.2007 at 22:40  
Written by Baz Anderson on 25.11.2007 at 00:20

nicely written review, but I know I didn't start listening to music to overcome some crippling mental state - it makes me wonder, isn't this kind of "black metal" if you want to call it that, just an elitists version of what other people might call "emo".. all the weakness and depression and all


If you think about it, most metal is emotional in similar ways to "emo", the thing that sets emo apart is that those bands are bitches about it.
BloodTears - 25.11.2007 at 22:55  
I will certainly give it a spin
-tom- - 25.11.2007 at 23:22  
Boring pretentious crap. Get the 2 demos on Drakkar. After that it's just chringeworthy.
jupitreas - 25.11.2007 at 23:23  
After listening to this album, I definitely thought that this Caina guy can do a good Death In June impression. But other than that, I think this is a rather flawed album in that it meanders too much in the pointless dark ambient passages. Not sure if I'd call it black metal either.
Lucas - 26.11.2007 at 16:11  
Written by -tom- on 25.11.2007 at 23:22

Boring pretentious crap. Get the 2 demos on Drakkar. After that it's just chringeworthy.


Trying to get those on ebay.

@jptrs: indeed, he is straying away more and more from BM. but there are some really raw bm passages in there. I guess it only depends on how much BM you think is necessary to call this band BM.
-tom- - 27.11.2007 at 11:50  
Written by Lucas on 26.11.2007 at 16:11


Trying to get those on ebay.


Still available from both drakkar and the band.

I also have their limited to 17 split CDr. Sounds kind of like Krieg if I remember right (though i only listened to it once).
GT - 28.11.2007 at 10:11  
Very well written review...made me listen to the album. Found it pretty boring and nothing special except the atmosphere you were talking about...it was pretty creepy at times.

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