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The Morningside - The Wind, The Trees and The Shadows of The Past CD (album) cover


The Morningside

Experimental/Post Metal

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5 stars First review. Has the world gone mad? This album IS AVAILABLE FOR FREE DOWNLOAD, and still no interest?

OK, few words about THE MORNINGSIDE. First of all their music will appeal to those who like Doom-Metal and Post-Metal (Sludge/ Stoner/Post-Core etc), so fans of PELICAN, GIANT SQUID, GRAYCEON, NEUROSIS, ISIS, CULT OF LUNA, even OPETH and AGALLOCH must check this one for sure. Only 5 tracks, with short instrumental intro and outro and 3 epics entitled "The Wind" (probably the best one, most memorable), "The Trees" and "The Shadows of the Past" (contains awesome atmospheric mid- part). Musically THE MORNINGSIDE is close to above-mentioned bands, but they're pretty unique, combining such elements as both extreme harsh and wonderful clear vocals (neither screaming a-la ISIS nor growling a-la OPETH), solo guitar duos (EXPLOSIONS IN THE SKY, THE CURE and MY DYING BRIDE all come to mind!) and impressive thrythm-section. Besides the quailty of the record is top-notch despite the home recording (!!!). BadMoodMan is a department of Solitude Prod., Russian Doom-Metal label, but do not let this fact confuse you: these guys are worthy of attention for sure, incorporating various influences and styles into their music, making it both eclectic enough and very enjoyable. I simply have nothing to be unsatisfied, except maybe for record's length...but from the other hand 40 minutes of pure bliss won't make you get bored with them. Highly recommended and available through BadMadMoon for a pretty suitable price. Enjoy!!!

Report this review (#139262)
Posted Thursday, September 20, 2007 | Review Permalink
PSIKE Team & Band Submissions
3 stars No shadows of the past ...

THE MORNINGSIDE is another newcomer band from Russia with a respectable professional output. Musically the band plays in a specific league somewhere between Prog Metal and Post Rock. Very tough with a solid rhythm section and two excellent guitar players which are getting my special attention. But unfortunately they have no luck because I personally don't like roaring vocals!

First of all we have a great Intro begin with a Siberian(?) ice storm which seduces you to reach for a pullover (especially if you're listening with headphones on). And then The Wind arises with a prog metal emphasis provided by clear metal guitars and aggressive vocals. The Trees begins with another intro which could have named 'The rain' as a matter of fact. This song is something like a transition to a more Post Rock direction and remembers at ISIS in parts. My favourite The Shadows Of The Past contains 'normal' vocals and wonderful twin guitar work. An excellent effort in a melancholic mood. Finally it's nearly the same with the Outro similar to CANCER CONSPIRACY.

As for a summary I think the songs might better take effect if they were pure instrumental. If you are interested in post-metal mixed music and don't have problems with harsh vocals this is a big recommendation ...

Report this review (#139863)
Posted Saturday, September 22, 2007 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Stunning music....a foggy afternoon with the smell of leaves and rain on the breeze...

Phenomenal album. I can't thank the prog-metal team enough for getting this one added. What a perfect little album from Moscow. Pure atmosphere and beauty. If this is where Russian metal is heading I'm on board. The length is a perfect 40 minutes and its all great. (Not all of us think 75 minutes is preferable.) It's true that this is in the Agalloch and Opeth arena if you must categorize, but I like it better than Agalloch because it has more variation in mood and more interesting animated playing. It is very rich and rewarding, seeming to focus most of all on interesting dual guitar playing that just gets better and better. The musicians are great but they focus on mood and melody over complex wankery, don't look for PoS or DT theatrics.

It begins with a short "Intro" in which we hear the wind blowing quite wickedly. Then we kick into "The Wind" with some mid tempo chug. It picks up speed and the visual you get from the music is a storm blowing in, the clouds getting darker and darker as they blow in fast. Finally the vocals arrive and they are of the extreme variety. But don't get frightened off because the album is mostly instrumental. I don't like growls either as I find them juvenile and emotionally one-dimensional, but honesty, the growling occurs on only two of the three long songs and doesn't ruin either one at all. After quite a bit of rocking there is a nice section of bass guitar and acoustic. Drumming is always tasteful and perceptive.

"The Trees" begins with rain and thunder dancing in the background. The guitar plays the sound of fog before the dual guitars kick in, one playing great lead melody and the other crunchy chords in a majestic mood. The pace picks up a bit when the vocals kick in. Then a nice break with dual acoustics that bring the album cover image to your mind. God this is beautiful stuff. More electric layered guitar harmonies that is uplifting despite the harsh vocals. This track is a guitar lovers dream. More rain and thunder at the end.

"The Shadows of the Past" begins with dual acoustic guitars and subdued drumming and bass, simply wonderful ambience. Vocals are clean on this track and very pleasant. This is the longest track and it stretches out nicely to explore some very nuanced distorted chords and atmospheres. Definitely ambient metal here. Lovely and very proficient acoustic ending with the howling winds leading into the "Outro." I resent this being called "doom" metal because while it does sound melancholic, I hear great hope and the healing powers of nature in the vibe of this album. You can get this fine album very reasonably priced at . Once there, click on BadMoodMan Music.

Essential for metal fans and highly recommended for all guitar rock fans. Perfect hypnotic progressions, perfect execution of the conceptual themes. Dream away.

Report this review (#141414)
Posted Monday, October 1, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars What an excellent debut album from this Russian outfit.

I like a number of things about this album. First, it sits assertively near the boundary between progressive metal and post-rock, and while it is most definitely catalogued correctly, lovers of post-rock will find a great deal to enjoy here in the crunchy guitar and gentle, almost pastoral interludes. The album is reminiscent in places of AGALLOCH, ISIS, BEHOLD...THE ARCTOPUS and even CYNIC, albeit with balls with regard to the latter. I reserve special praise for the vocalist, whose full-throated screams, while not in the league of MICHAEL AKERFELDT's growls or JENS KIDMAN's vocals, still stir the blood and fit in perfectly with the music.

The Intro and Outro do exactly as advertised, and the middle three songs make up the meat of the album - and the three phrases of the title. 'The Wind' is pure, honest progressive metal, though with a post-rock feel; while enjoyable, it is by no means of OPETH quality. 'The Trees' begins in a space-rock fashion, emerging from a storm to deliver a genuine progressive metal classic, my favourite on this album. 'The Shadows Of The Past' veers nearer post-rock, relying more on colouring and atmosphere than frenetic rhythm, double-kick drumming and multi-layered guitars, and features' clean' vocals. Overall, the songwriting is the band's weakest point, with each song displaying competency without that spark of genius, but the sounds are refreshing and challenging enough to invite repeat listens.

The album is short, which is all to the good, allowing the listener easier access to this new band. Not only that, it can be downloaded for free. This fact leads me to upgrade a solid three stars to four: since it costs nothing, it will make an excellent addition to your progressive rock collection. Moreover, 'The Wind, The Trees and The Shadows of The Past' offers a great place to start exploring the grey boundary between genres.

Go get it. It's only a website away.

Report this review (#141946)
Posted Thursday, October 4, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars This album has been getting a LOT of airtime on my iTunes and iPod since I downloaded it. The English language just does not have enough superlatives to describe how good I think The Morningside's début album is!

I can hear a lot of influences in the background - all from some of my favourite doom and prog metal bands, such as Opeth and Katatonia. But the music never comes across as a rip-off of anyone else's work. They are just that - influences - and they all blend together into a unique sound that is at times driving and at others beautifully melancholy.

russelk is of the opinion that the songwriting could be better. I beg to differ. I think that all of the music is well written and well crafted, especially 'The Wind', which is perhaps the best track on the album. If anything lets this album down, it is Igor Nitkin's clean vocals on 'The Shadows of the Past', which are a little shaky.

Even so, this does not detract from an excellent album that takes you on a deep blue emotional journey through deep autumnal Russian forest - a must for any serious purveyor of doom!

Report this review (#151070)
Posted Friday, November 16, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars WOW, The Morningside is bringing post metal out of the sludgy bad recording days, and I'm completely fine with that. When I saw the album was up for free download I did not hesitate to go for it! On first listen I was stunned to find how crisp and clean everything sounded, if it werent for the guitar melodies, it would be hard to call this band post. Everything is toned out, the drums are very busy, and the vocals are very gutteral. Very different from anything you will hear, this five song album would be a great begginers album to anyone who is looking to get into post metal, or at the same time mislead them to think that all post metal sounds like this. Be wary though, just because it's different, dosent mean it's not as brutal a any other metal album.

After the first thirty second song of just blowing wind, the intro, the next song explodes with power chords, double bass, and some very down to earth lead lines that are sure to knock you off your feet. So this little jam session goes on for about three minuetes, then the vocals come in, very throaty and raw, therefore making the intro very misleading to anyone who's not a fan of harsh vocals. Either way, the music is very emotional through every piece, whether it's the flying lead lines of the wind, the sheer brutality of the trees, or the softness of the beginning of the shadows of the past. The trees is easily the heaviest song, relying mostly on the vocals, and power chords, with very few light moment like on the trees. The shadows of the past starts soft, with clean vocals sung beautifully, then climaxes into a mixture of both of the songs before it, marrying crazy guitar moments, and awesome power.

The album will not disapoint, little to no bad moments in it. If you were to ask me, revolutionary is the word I would describe for this album, abslutely destroying the rules of post, but at the same time, completely under the umbrella of the genre.

Mmmmm... This is six months later, and maybe I was being a little overly generous, nw that I listen to these guys, I'm hearing a more abrasive late agalloch, which is by no means a bad thing, but the lack of originality will not get you a five star....

4 stars

Report this review (#152303)
Posted Thursday, November 22, 2007 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
1 stars Here's an album containing 40 minutes of wall of sounds, with no writings on it, without being painted in an attractive colour...even without the purpose.

It is balanced. It is concrete. And almost nothing else.

When I say it is balanced, I mean it's perfectly balanced: it's a perfect ratio between post rock and metal. And nothing else. It's certainly not taking the best from the both worlds, it's just combining templates; a cold example, and a shallow one at that. There's not a single moment on the album where I can attach my heart to; there's no emotion except for the great gray fist of Boredom.

Why is that so?

Well, it's simply a matter of taste I guess. I just doesn't work for me. Post rock moments here doesn't sound very convincing, they were played thousands of times before, with much more energy. The metal riffs used here are forgettable, as they were forgettable 20 years ago, because they were derived and derived. It sound like these guys are trying really hard to squeeze emotion from a template. Brutal, high-pitched vocals won't help; although I admire the skill (and I like tasteful amounts of that kind of vocals), it's just another desperate scream from a tiny human being trying to be different and forcing it. No, thank you. It will be forgotten in years to come. I don't need this. Life is full of sorrow anyway.

Report this review (#152566)
Posted Saturday, November 24, 2007 | Review Permalink
2 stars This album has recieved a lot of praise on this site by many great reveiwers, but I cant for the life of me find why. This album is good enough, it has some quiet post rock parts and some more metal parts but nothing I would call home about. The growling on this album also dosn't appeal to me, and I usually love growling, but this guys tone is not really my thing, and I can't really tell you why. This one fails to take me anywhere, it just dosn't have that trancendent post-rock quality you find me rambling on to describe on many of my other reviews. For me though my largest problem is that this sounds too much like Agalloch.

Intro: pretty much just wind noises

The Wind: Sounds like Agalloch, except that the drums sound clicky to me and detract from the atmosphere. Also there is some quieter folksy sounding post-rock bits, also in an Agalloch style. I also don't here much in the way of build ups here or minimalism, just guitar riffage and folksy bits.

The Trees: Really long ambient intro and then a guitar tone that sounds strangly familiar, It sounds strangly similar to the one Agalloch used on "Limbs" Honestly this song would fit great on "Ashes Against the Grain" The song redeams itself a bit with a nice acoustic interlude. Sadly however the song is back again with clickyer drums than ever driving me nuts. Good, not great.

The Shadows of the Past: The best most origional song on the disc, the only one that I find myself wanting to listen too, and I really really like it, I hope they go this route on their next release. The thick accent and lyrics that seem to have been put through a translator only make the song sound more real and pure, but sadly the band feels the need to go back into its safe place and play more Agalloch sound.

Overall this is an ok listen, but it is certainly not essential, and too derivative, however the band shows promise and hey it was free, so thats good. Reccomended for those who can't get enough post-metal, those who want more Agalloch and for those who simply could do with some good free listening. over all two stars: collectors/fans only

Report this review (#155798)
Posted Monday, December 17, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars If you're a fan of Agalloch I strongly encourage you to invest in album, if you can classify a free album as an investment that is. This should appeal especially to those who enjoyed Agalloch's Ashes Against The Grain or anyone who shares an appreciation for a refreshing mixtures of folky prog-metal and post-rock.

In their heavy moments they greatly resemble Agalloch with a more exciting and impressive rhythm section. The lead guitar work especially reminds me of Ashes Against The Grain. In the softer folksier moments they tend to remind me of Opeth's acoustic interludes. Vocally, again I invoke the name of Agalloch as the singing sounds like a wonderful mix of Agalloch and Children Of Bodom. Those unwaveringly opposed to growling vocals will find little consolation here, but it should be said that I could not imagine the album being sung any other way. To say they fit the mood would be an understatement. The Morningside achieve an amazing symbiotic relationship between the vocals and the music.

Much like Agalloch also the album has a very woodsy, outdoor feel. Although aided by the inclusion of environmental sounds such as howling wind and rainstorms into the music, this is not where I gather this observation. An overgrown wooden environment clearly develops in your head while listening to this album. They say not to judge a book by its cover, but here that cliché certainly does not apply. In fact, taking a look at the album art will speak much more about the album than I can. Glance at the cover art, that's what the album sounds like.

I've mention Agalloch far too many times in this review. It serves as a splendid method of comparison but I don't want to overplay the similarities. They do certainly exist, but The Morningside certainly forge their own sound. The Wind, The Tree, and The Shadows of The Past really impressed me, especially as a debut from an unknown artist. There are very few flaws here. This is one of the best of 2007. Pick it up; it's free.

Report this review (#157479)
Posted Wednesday, January 2, 2008 | Review Permalink
3 stars Here's a band I'm keeping my eye on...

Prog metal is a world filled with so many bands trying to be Dream Theater or Pain of Salvation, and failing because of it. When a prog metal band makes a debut nowadays it's rarely original. The Morningside does not fall into this category, and their debut The Wind, The Trees, and The Shadows of The Past is a very strong debut from a band that I think can do better in the future.

The type of music played here can be described as post-metal. What I hear when I listen to this is some similarities to early Opeth's melodic death metal style, some very silent and relaxing moments found in the post-rock greats, and of course a lot of post metal similar to Isis, Pelican, and Agalloch. The result, while nothing groundbreaking, is much better than cloning another band.

The music here is very melodic. There are no blast beats, no shredding, and nothing really fast. This is mostly mid-tempo. It can be very energetic and very relaxing at times. There are some nice melodies and musically this album is very good.

The only main issue that I have with this album is the horrendous vocals. I love growls when they're done correctly, but this is a hellish high-pitched scream that doesn't work with the melodic and beautiful music. I wouldn't have minded a deeper growl, but the vocals can get annoying. The clean vocals aren't much better, and to be honest this entire album is not good vocally.

However, the music is really good. It's still not completely flawless, but this is everything a post-metal album should be. It's energetic, relaxing, and it has beautiful and sometimes dark melodies.


"Intro"- The sound of wind opens up the album. Some creepy-sounding effects follow.

"The Wind"- After the short intro, the second song opens up with a melodic metal riff. It progresses well between riffs, and it is a very solid opening. An energetic riff enters, and then the horrid vocals come in. Keep in mind, I love harsh vocals, but these really are poorly done. Musically, this song is excellent though. This contains some of the best post metal riffs I've heard. It contains a very post-rock influenced section near the end that I think is just excellent. I think this song would have fared better as an instrumental.

"The Trees"- The sound of rain opens up the third track on the album. This has more melodic riffs and melodies, and it progresses into the vocal section. Followed by an atmospheric post-rock section until suddenly electric guitars come in and play the same riff. I really enjoy this song as well.

"The Shadows of the Past"- This is the longest song on the album, and it opens up with a light acoustic melody. It builds well when the drums come in. This features clean vocals, and they really are not good in my opinion. I think this would have been better as an instrumental, or even with a different vocalist. Anyway, musically this song is really good as always. The outro is very intriguing, using the same riff from the very beginning of the song.

"Outro"- This song is entirely instrumental, and is a post-rock song built off of one main riff. I think it builds very well, and it's a great way to close off the album.


The Wind, The Trees, and The Shadows of The Past is a very good album that will definitely appeal to fans of the genre. I think this young band will produce some great albums in their future, and this album shows their potential as musicians. I'm torn between giving this very good album a 3 or a 4. Since this album is their debut, I'll give it a 3 just because I think they will do much better in the future, and this album is good, but completely unessential. I think in the years to come, The Morningside will have an essential album.

3 stars.

Report this review (#252479)
Posted Tuesday, November 24, 2009 | Review Permalink
4 stars The Morningside are a relatively new band around for yet another bite at the experimental/post sub-genre. What one expects are the trademark walls of sound, guitar layers and drone, hypnotic rhythms to be found in this style. What The Morningside gives us in their debut album is no less than these features, yet they still present an eerie uniqueness to their sound. The guitar tones are quite distinct and able to mark the ensemble's personal touch on the guitar work approach. Crunching and brutal chords intertwine quite well under the driving lush riffs from the lead guitar. The vocals consist of coarse growling, and they're not in any form technically above the average extent,but are well placed whithin the coiled mix of elements that define the whole of the sound. Although rhythmic contribution is in this genre lacking in agile displays, some artful details are wrought from the bass performance, bringing about an easy listen.

And this was the description for two of the major tracks in this album, The Wind and The Trees. Then enters The Shadows of The Past and all the growling, the dissonant aggression and the rugged texture are thrown out the window, giving way to a smooth, clean, accoustic-sounding ending piece. Morose, but beautiful, The Shadows of The Past captures quite well the cloudy ambience that remains after the anger dissipates and all that's left is but a gentle, yet painful melancholic feel.

Although, technically speaking, the theoretical approach to The Wind, The Trees and The Shadows of The Past might unearth no broken boundaries or creative revolutions of the genre, there is much emotion and craft that feels naturally right and well set into motion, providing even as much as an epic and inspiring mood from the more aggressive numbers and an unnerving atmosphere from the more gentle passages.

Yet another undisclosed gem from Russia.

Report this review (#489719)
Posted Sunday, July 24, 2011 | Review Permalink

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