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The Mourning biography
Founded in Tampa, Florida, USA in 2017

THE MOURNING was formed by singer/keyboardist/guitarist Johnny RAY. He was at first joined by drummer Jason BERLIN, then bassist Spence HOWARD who worked in the past with both musicians joined the two. Finally, Berklee graduate guitarist Thomas GRIGGS joined the band. The EP "Theosis" was released spring 2018 and played live with keyboard player John RICHARDSON and guitarist Andrew STOUT while the band is writing his first full-length album. The music is Progressive Rock with a touch of Jazz, Metal and circus music.

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4.61 | 15 ratings


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 Theosis by MOURNING, THE album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2018
4.61 | 15 ratings

The Mourning Progressive Metal

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Honorary Reviewer

5 stars It was suggested to me that I really ought to listen to the debut EP from Florida-based band The Mourning, and as soon as I streamed it I knew that I had to write about it. Led by keyboard player and singer Johnny Ray, this musically is a real mess, and I love it. There are times when I think that they are bringing in Savatage for a new generation, then it's Cardiacs, then Discipline, then they are using fairground music, and after a while I just give up and decide that these guys are truly being progressive and I'm just going to sit back and enjoy it and give up trying to describe it.

This, their debut release, contains seven songs and comes in at thirty-five minutes long, and they are currently working on their debut album, which if this is anything to go by will be a killer. It made me think very much of the Nineties when there were bands bringing together influences from multiple sources and then letting the audience find them, as opposed to creating something rather more generic for which they knew there were people who would listen to the music. It really sounds like the guys are having fun, and Johnny has a great voice, but Spence Howard produces some wonderful lines on bass, Jason Berlin is never content to provide any sort of basic backing, John Richardsen utilises multiple different styles on keyboards while Thomas Griggs can riff like a bastard, throw down power chords, or be rather more gentle in his approach. They also bring in guests in vocals and additional instrumentation, and the result is an incredible well balanced and powerful progressive rock album. 'Moment' has everything, and while Johnny goes off the scale vocally it is the nuances such as a bass chord that really makes this pop.

The Mourning are an exciting new band, and when they come back with a full-length album I am convinced they are going to have a major impact on the progressive scene.

 Theosis by MOURNING, THE album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2018
4.61 | 15 ratings

The Mourning Progressive Metal

Review by SteveConrad

4 stars THEOSIS, burnishing the soul through suffering.

FIRST, a bit of theology

"...theosis is also the state of being divinized or God-infused, both in character and in person."

In many spiritual traditions, the ORDEAL or quest is part of becoming divinized, transcending one's limited nature, and finding enlightenment, serenity, one-ness, kundalini awakening, nirvana, or holiness and salvation.

Whether in spiritual disciplines like meditation, or fasting, or walkabouts, or vision-quests, or retreats to the desert, or chillas...the idea of burnishing the soul through ordeal and suffering emphasize the difficulty and the importance of this process of theosis.

In The MOURNING's release "THEOSIS", it's difficult to overlook these reverberations in the review of this EP.


The Mourning is a relatively new outfit, started in 2017, but there are some veterans of other bands involved, and clearly some highly skilled musicians. You'll hear that at once when you give THEOSIS a spin. The founder and composer appears to be Johnny Ray whose spry, evocative, and expressive vocals provide depth to the lyrics he's written for these tunes.

He's joined by a crackerjack group of musicians; you can investigate further at your leisure.

Here at this site, The Mourning is identified as progressive metal, and I can see why. I'd probably classify them as crossover progressive rock since there are elements yes of progressive metal, but also symphonic, jazz-fusion, and eclectic progressive music.


Released Feb.24, 2018, there are seven tracks, but in this review I'll attend mostly to the first five tracks, since six and seven are remixes, and although they deserve a hearing, don't strike me as essential to the music and themes of THEOSIS.


1. Edge of Time (5:47) 2. Heartbeat (4:48) 3. Moment (6:00) 4. Storm Clouds Gather (2:29) 5. Theosis (8:09)

In considering an album, I am interested in not simply the music, but the album cover art, the descriptions and writings on the cover, the lyrics, and the overall feel of the album. I'm interested in the titles, and the lyrics, and what these might be saying about the intent of this work and of the band.

After a half-dozen hearings of this album, I knew I was getting SOME of the lyrics- and that they were definitely worth hearing in full. The band kindly supplied these- however, I wish they were included with the album.

1. Edge of Time

"Sitting on the edge of time The view here is sublime"

The EP opens with gentle guitar, mellow, major key- quickly "subverting" into more complexity. We get lush keyboards and pastoral mellotron sounds, lovely vocal ensemble work, and some majestic passages- leading to a saxophone break!

And here's part of the allure of this album- it's unpredictable, varied, and sometimes alternatively amazing and amusing.

And oh yes, the doo-wop section...

2. Heartbeat

The throbbing beat, intensity, and a circus barker: "Silently I watch the degradation of the minions here I feel my heartbeat start to slow in grief tears stream right down my face"- from the glory of the observer in track one who is elated and energized, we get the taste of brokenness and despair.

Guitars scream, there is punchy bass and frenetic drumming in a wild breakdown, and LIES, LIES, LIES! The music is in thrash territory here.

3. Moment

"I share my life with the entire world, its true But that moment lady, its just for you"- opening with a time ticking by theme, slowly disintegrating...leading to bold backbeat and moody theme. The treated vocals lend a certain vibe- did I say the vocal work throughout is superb?- and then some great guitar riffs and solos. Drums go bananas and some fine synthesizer work- and wow, the flute with the instrumental section- terrific.

There's a sensual feel to the lyrics, a personalizing love, addressing "Lady"- is this cosmic Adam/Eve reference?

4. Storm Clouds Gather

"The earth cries away her tears she shows that she still cares"- or, a kind of suffering of all creation, the groaning as though a woman in labor straining to give birth.

It's got synthesized? cello, and piano with some sound effects; sort of a pause, before...

5. Theosis

"Enlightening once dormant synaptic pathways Illuminating the darkened corners of the mind My heart wavers like a ship in rough seas The horizon coming in and out of sight"- this is no pastoral, calm resolution. The transcendence of the soul is no cakewalk. Rather, there is frenetic, metal pounding, biting vocals, and singing guitar lines, leading to a reflective passage with echoing guitar lines.


Thank goodness this one was relatively short- there was much packed into this EP musically, lyrically, and intentions.

I found it enlightening, entertaining, and worthy- an excellent addition to any progressive music collection, and then some.

My rating

4.5 out of 5 synaptic pathways

 Theosis by MOURNING, THE album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2018
4.61 | 15 ratings

The Mourning Progressive Metal

Review by rdtprog
Special Collaborator Heavy / RPI / Symphonic Prog Team

5 stars The band likes to surprise you with music that covers different moods, from the acoustic passage to the pure jazz section, then a little circus music to spices things up in this metal prog. The music has some great atmosphere with that sax part, that furious and crazy kind of synth part and that funny ending in the song "Heartbeat". The band delivers some great instrumental intro in their songs with some female vocals and some amazing breaks where the pace is never fast for too long. "Storm Clouds Gater" comes at the right place with a beautiful and peaceful atmosphere. The title track is the longest track and shows again the songwriting talent of the band and that they can when they want display some great guitar and keyboard work. This is too short for the music quality. Recommended to a lot of Progressive Rock fans.
Thanks to rdtprog for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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