The Peaceville “Three.” Invented or an actual thing it doesn’t really matter. What does matter is that Paradise Lost, My Dying Bride, and Anathema influenced an entire sub-genre of metal. Generations of downtrodden longhairs found solace in their gargantuan melancholy and misty-moor atmosphere. This held true in the ’90s. Since then, bands–Katatonia, Novembers Doom, Saturnus, Celestial Season, Draconian, Swallow the Sun, et al.–embraced the British sound as if it was their own, adding emotional weight, cultural ennui, and filmic expanse. Well, hordes of desolation, The Sombre, are the salve of the bereft.
Formed by the ever-prolific Maurice de Jong, he of Gnaw Their Tongues, Cloak of Altering, De Magia Veterum, Golden Ashes, and loads of other notables, sometime before 2019, The Sombre aches for Peaceville’s golden age. Debut Into the Beckoning Wilderness (2019) and follow-up album Shapeless Misery (2020) had all the tenets of blue-hued death-doom, slow, stately, funereal yet heavier than a cement burial vault. De Jong returns to the downcast, rainy-day formula he started only a few years ago with the excellent Monuments of Grief effort. Moored by opener “From the Depths of Misery” yet pivoted downward by “The Mourning Gloom,” de Jong’s sadness is exponential now.
Says The Sombre’s Maurice de Jong: “The emptiness death leaves behind, in ones soul, is never truly healed. A part of you is lost forever if someone close dies. This whole album deals with crushing grief. This song is about the total numbness of mourning a loved one.”
Come to grief, wither the flowers, and relish in de Jong’s odyssey of woes on “The Mourning Gloom.”