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Mourning Phase - Mourning Phase CD (album) cover


Mourning Phase


Prog Folk

4.20 | 12 ratings

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Eetu Pellonpaa
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Got myself the Kissing Spell's CD reissue of this rare album, lured by Dante Gabrielle Rosetti's painting "Beata Beatrix" used on its album cover. Though this being possibly an easy choice, I think the portrait of artist's late wife Elizabeth Siddal, victim of an opium overdose, fits wonderfully to the tragic and mysterious overall feeling resonating from this rough and very emotional record. The first impression from the album's overall sound brought me associations of Jill Child's, Paul Corrick's and Ken Saul's Midwinter record "The Waters of Sweet Sorrow", also using Pre-Raphaelite illustration on its booklet. There might be also some similarities to Sandy Denny's and Strawbs mutual recording from 1967, if most of the pop music elements from that music should be omitted. But the simplicity of Mourning Phase's instrumentation forms a powerful an unique poem book of dialogues for both electric and acoustic guitars, and male and graceful female voices, rejoicing and damning each other by turns. Some of the arrangements on both guitar lines and vocal discourses appear quite clever, escaping the purist folk tradition towards the straits which associate with progressive rock's and psychedelic culture's musical contexts. I also felt that the lighter load of instrumentations give more force to the adorable vocals and delightful mosaics of double guitar interplays. The compositions are in my opinion wonderful, lingering on the mental state I personally feel very comfortable with. The amateurism might be detected in closings of few songs, where I think either imagination or concentration got bit lost, and some guitar lines may prove that the musicians played on the very threshold of their own capabilities. Yet this kind of unevenness gives to me a feeling of more direct contact to the performers' personalities and sincerity in their effort, and does not lower the listening enjoyment.

Based on my own understanding, the original private pressing of this album had a colored version of the black & white drawing of "Eden" release's front jacket, which is also presented here on ProgArchives web page. There should also be a limited vinyl edition of this enigmatic album released by Shadoks label, with yet alternate photograph cover, an album which certainly will be included on my wish list of future LP discoveries. Warmly recommended for those open to rustic folk music romantics from Yours truly.

Eetu Pellonpaa | 4/5 |


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