Label: Repo Records
Release Date : May 18 , 2012
A good concept album is one in a million. Not only does an artist have to write music and lyrics, as with any traditional album, but they also have to come up with a theme that spreads cohesively across the entire album. September Mourning let loose quite an impressive display of ambition with their debut album Melancholia. It is a tale of gothic darkness, entwined in the fantasy world of a young girl who is trapped between life and death. And it skillfully rips your face off musically in the process.
The concept and story line behind September Mourning is the creation of Emily Lazar and Marc Silvestri of Top Cow Comics. The band’s name is identical to the name of the main character, a girl who is a reaper – in other words, she lives between life and death, carrying the people who passed on to their final resting place. According to the synopsis of the storyline, each song on the album represents emotions and memories absorbed when she takes a soul.
Musically, the album has teeth, and the band is not afraid to use them. It favors crunchy guitar work over the gothic keyboard laced melody you’d almost expect from the vibe the album gives off theatrically and story-wise. The album packs its punches, for example – the opener is a breakneck paced rocker entitled, “A Place to Call your Own” – a song that features blistering guitar work that almost brings to mind the works of known heavier bands like Arch Enemy. “Go for the Throat” is another skull smasher. The listener is launched into the turbulent emotions of this trapped soul. Lazar’s vocals are melodic yet persuasive, and the harmonies she overdubs lend a nice touch to the overall atmosphere of the track. Yet the listener also gets the sense that this girl isn’t one to be messed around with, whether her vocals are sweet and melodic, or balls to the wall growling.
Melancholia also has its melodic “soft and sweet” side, and along the journey through the album’s various imagery, we are treated to slower paced songs like “Fallen” . Or should I say, songs that let you catch your breath every once in a while. This track has some tasty keyboard flourishes, and lends an industrial feel in places almost akin to something Marilyn Manson or Trent Reznor had his fingers in. In fact, it is important to note here that the band was previewed on stages alongside the shock rocker Manson himself weeks after their creation. “Lost Embrace” is another slower number, laden with keyboard blips and buzzing, and heavily leaning toward the industrial side of the spectrum. Lazar’s vocals explore her character’s declaration of judgment day, nightmares and the apocalypse. “Crimson Skies” is an arioso piece with lyrics bringing to mind feelings of requited love.
What do you get when you mix a death-tinged story line with a gothic romance novel and dip all that into a heavy rock album? You get Melancholia. This is definitely a band to watch, for if the reapers don’t come to take them away, then the band is sure to be popping up in your nightmares – ahem, I mean music stores very soon.
Rating: 7.3 /10