Indiana’s Mother of Graves found a captive audience with their In Somber Dreams EP in 2020. The group’s artful melange of Brave Murder Day-era Katatonia, Futile-era Rapture, and Rain Without End-era October Tide continues unabated on debut album, Where the Shadows Adorn, via burgeoning indie Wise Blood Records. Comprised of Brandon Howe (vocals/keyboards), Chris Morrison (guitars), Ben Sandman (guitars), Corey Clark (bass), and Don Curtis (drums), the Indianapolis-based outfit aren’t shy about their somber melodicisms and glum compositional exequy, but there’s something — as with American peers Daylight Dies — that hits a bit differently from their European counterparts. There’s a directness (not aggression) at play with Mother of Graves that complements the group’s marche funèbre. Perhaps it’s the occasional Edge of Sanity barrage (as inspired by stateside legends of yore) or maybe it’s the streetwise grit that underpins everything on offer that sets the group apart. Either way, it rules.
Decibel and Wise Blood are stoked as Elohim Meth to premiere “Tears Like Wine” from Where the Shadows Adorn. This track, recorded and mixed by Ben Sandman at GLB Studios and Wesley Heaton at 1857 Studios, respectively, and then mastered by the ever-illustrious Dan Swanö at Unisound AB, feels like it came off the 1996 assembly line, its doleful main melody and gentle gallop frigid as a corpse in February. “Tears Like Wine” pairs perfectly with the Paolo Girardi (Forgotten Tomb, Oak) color-muted, contextually-rich cover art. The guitar work of Morrison and Sandman chant loss while Howe’s disembodied roar laments the heartache after. Clearly, the rhythmic foundation — a nice 75-ish bpm — Curtis and Clark is purposefully architected around it all.
Says vocalist/keyboardist Howe: “’Tears Like Wine’ is probably one of the catchiest and most chorus-driven tracks on the record. It’s been a top favorite of mine in all aspects since I first heard it. The melodies they wrote for it are the kind that burn themselves in your memory and haunt you, but also uplift you. It’s personal. Consider it a dark romance, if you will. Immerse and let it enfold you.”
Gain October insight in the dog days of summer with Mother of Graves and “Tears Like Wine.”