Mourning Sign
Contra Mundum

Good lord- talk about an obscure blast from the past. I vaguely remember purchasing this Swdish band’s debut EP Alienor back in 1993 as a blind purchase, and kind digging it. It was a more progressive slightly different take on death metal back then, but 2 albums later in 1994 and 1996 the band disappeared without leaving too much of an impact on the scene.

Well, the original lineup got back together and somehow released a killer album late in 2018 which I got for review late in 2018, hence this early 2019 review.

I no longer own Alienor, so I really can’t compare how the band has changed in that many years, but Contra Mundum is a really good album of death metal than leans more towards the melodic death metal side of the spectrum, with some keyboards, lots of really nice leads (“The Defiant Pupil”) and catchy (“White Light”), but has plenty of teeth, being pretty aggressive and blast filled at times (i.e. “Sights of Woe”, “Who Will Crown the King?”). I’m sometimes reminded of German act Disillusion with a dash Desultory’s recent return if you need a name drop.

Not to mention, the album features one of the best melodic death songs of 2018 in “Homage to a Dying World”, which just fucking rips with a searing, reoccurring melodic bridge. But every other song on the release is damn good, there is no filler or weak songs, showing 20 plus years of build up. “These Scars” has a nice controlled menace, while other standout “Sleep” is a part goddamn scorcher on par with The Crown‘s frantic speed, and part clean sung balladic epic.

Regardless of what style this has its spread all over its sound, Contra Mundum, is a damn fine album, and a really good reunion that unfortunately wont register with like of the bigger name comeback and reunions (Nightrage?) in the genre.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by E. Thomas
January 24th, 2019

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