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The Mourning - Theosis CD (album) cover

THEOSIS

The Mourning

 

Progressive Metal

4.62 | 14 ratings

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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

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.

THE EP, "THEOSIS"

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.

TRACK LIST

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.

Conclusion

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

SteveConrad | 4/5 |

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