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Gates Of Mourning – Ruination

gates of mourning – ruination


Gates of Mourning is a solo Black Metal act from Florida in the USA. Headed by Danny Morris (also known as D.M.) this guy has had the project going since 2009 with a short break of 6 years after 2014 before coming back with a third album in 2021. Now, 2 years later, we have the fourth full length, ‘Ruination.’ For those familiar with this rather underground act, the music is still heavily melodic but ultimately Black Metal with touches of Death Metal and even Doom. In the past early work from Gates of Mourning were known for epic tracks, and a raw sound. As time has progressed, the band has kept up a semi-epic proportion of tracks- no track feels too short- and stuck to a good mix of drum heavy pounding mixed with very melodic riffs. Here on ‘Ruination’ though it seems that D.M. has taken his work to a bit more epic proportions especially with the lyrical themes and titles. The tracks are a mouthful to say, but well worth this listen. The ride is a mix of interludes and standard Melodic Black Metal pieces, but all well put together without any piece feeling out of place.

For new listeners, expect a mix of Lord Belial meets Keep of Kalessin meets Deicide. There is a bit of ‘fuzz’ around the riffs to keep that old school feel, and while the lack of symphonic moments don’t make the music as lush as some of the more polished acts out there, one can really dig into the guitars and drums with each track because they are what make the music. The riffs have almost this Melodic Death Metal touch to them (like very early Dark Tranquillity) such as on ‘The Silver Strand of Winter’s Gaze’ but the drums have that metallic hollow ring to them that make them stand out compared to the usual percussive thump. Vocals range from high pitched snarls to the deeper growls, and when layered together such as on ‘When Grave Worms Beckon…’ one really gets that Deicide feel to the music. While the higher pitched vocals are like that of Lord Belial meets Cradle of Filth and sometimes annoying, they are discernable enough to enjoy and don’t sound like squawks or quacks. The riffs are very memorable, even when repetitious. Then one gets the more Melodic Doom influenced tracks similar to Mourning Beloveth with the slower paced guitars, more use of the growled vocals, and just a very different shift in pace compared to the faster Black Metal pieces which seem to barrel through with no pause or remorse save for an acoustic interlude here and there such as on ‘The Silver Strands…’.

There are some symphonic/ sample moments such as the opening choir vocals on ‘Of Crimson Towers and Mountain Halls’ (which is the best instrumental on the album aside from the few other 1 minute interludes) but D.M. keeps it far and between. While it does help with atmosphere, the guitar melodies do a great job at conveying some sense of epic background with the lyrics, again showing the instrumental prowess across several genres of Metal. While some might argue a lot of the tracks come off the same due to the limited scope of the instruments, D.M. does his best to try and use the vocal work to vary things up as much as possible. Ultimately, fans of both Melodic Death and Black Metal should find ‘Ruination’ a good listen, if not for the bloodied story alone. Fans of the likes of anywhere from Lord Belial to Blackguard should enjoy the musical style of Gates of Mourning and even with a few other surprises added in. This is by far D.M.’s most ambitious work and it has paid off in spades.

Gates Of Mourning

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