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Fin'amor - "Forbidding Mourning" (CD)

Fin'amor - "Forbidding Mourning" CD cover image

"Forbidding Mourning" track listing:

1. Bleed The Oceans
2. Oasis
3. I Am Winter
4. Memories of Flesh
5. Natura
6. Porcelain Swan
7. Valediction

Reviewed by on July 22, 2015

"Although less consistently gloomy, the core sound from Fin'amor's debut album is clearly based on the traditionally Finnish death/doom combo. Where this U.S. band distinguishes itself is in all the background and in between sounds..."

“Forbidding Mourning” is not an album you'd expect to be exported from cosmopolitan New York, but here it is: an eclectic mixing of death and doom in a hugely atmospheric packaging. Although less consistently gloomy, the core sound from Fin'amor's debut album is clearly based on the traditionally Finnish death/doom combo. Where this U.S. band distinguishes itself is in all the background and inbetween sounds, spicing things up with the addition of a variety of outside genre conventions.

A generally slow to mid-paced affair with occasional bursts of speed, there's a balance between harsh death vocals and clean, deeply intoned gothic singing. The larger range of sub-genre influences altering the primary sound keep the album more unique and less a direct mimicking of a specific style. It's a sort of east-meets-west combo, taking a very European form of metal and mixing it up with U.S. sensibilities.

Piano parts are woven across the album, and even in a few cases take to the forefront and replace the guitars as the focus instrument. Further ramping up the atmosphere are a host of non-traditional elements like the creaking sounds and repeating short bursts of reverb that cut off into nothing on final track “Valediction,” or the spacey and ambient sections of “Porcelain Swan” that blend harsh vocals and slow motion drum beats. The guitars halfway through “I Am Winter” really catch the ear sonically as they go a different direction than expected, not matching the same slow moving style of the surrounding death/doom.

These tracks tend to switch gears quite drastically as one ends and another begins, striking a balance in the process as slow moving death-doom offerings like the opening song switch into atmospheric and cleaner cuts, such as the second track, “Oasis.” Occasionally the album does feel too plodding or a bit empty, like another element needs to be added in to complete the sound (listen to the sudden stops and starts of drums and vocals on “Bleed The Oceans” for instance). On the whole, there is a fantastic mix of sounds here, however, and I'm looking forward to hearing more from Fin'amor in the future.

Highs: European death/doom gets mixed with a wide range of eclectic and non-traditional sounds.

Lows: The consistent slow moving pace drags it down a bit, and some parts feel overly empty or under utilized.

Bottom line: Death, doom, and atmospheric gothic elements come together from a fledgling U.S. band ready to play among the big names.

Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls
3.5 out of 5 skulls


Key
Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)