Album Review: Mournful Congregation – “The Incubus of Karma”


Atlas shuddered

Label: 20 Buck Spin/Weird Truth/Osmose

The Incubus of Karma is like a six-part ascent up a mountain where the views along the way are so heart-crushingly and relentlessly magnificent that it belies the fact that the passage is daunting and slow, and the summit is nearly inaccessible. Their fifth full-length album not only reminds us why we worship Mournful Congregation with a borderline religious fervor, but also confirms the widely held belief that Mournful Congregation are living gods of death/doom.

While Tim Call (of Sempiternal Dusk) hits the drums hard enough to intimidate his way into any band, he fills the role of Mournful Congregation’s drummer with poise and remarkable restraint. But, let’s be honest, the American merely provides a solid foundation up from which the grandeur of the bass and guitars can vault. When it comes to the latter, Damon Good and Justin Hartwig have really outdone themselves on The Incubus of Karma. There are moments on this album that would make a stone angel nod along in slowtime. Leads that sound like beams of steel bent and twisted into singing. For two hours straight, the beauty of this album just smothers you.

Truthfully, here is a death/doom work of hitherto unknown depth and immensity. An album that as you grow, in some ways growing because of the album, you will also come to understand and appreciate it more. The Incubus of Karma is an album that will send you to the library to check out books to help you better understand the various meanings behind the songs. Bleak as the future may look, at least we now have 120 minutes of new Mournful Congregation to rejoice within.