Review 2190 : Sarcasm – Mourninghoul – English

Fifth album for Sarcasm!

After a series of demos in the early ’90s, the band returns to life in 2015 and confirms its Swedish heritage. In 2024, it’s with Mourninghoul that Heval Bozarslan (vocals, Deathswarm, Third Storm, Gold Spire), Anders Eriksson (guitar, Deathswarm), Peter Laitinen (guitar, Imperial Domain), Jonas Söder (bass, ex-Goatworship) and Jesper Ojala (drums, Third Storm, ex-Morbid Illusion) strike again.

The album kicks off at full speed with As Northern Gates Open, where sharp riffs and dark growls are anchored in furious Black Metal, with sharp but sometimes majestic melodies when slower. The band immediately continues with Lifelike Sleep, where tortured vocals meet an overpowering rhythm section, slowing down to become oppressive thanks to impressive keyboards that perfectly reproduce the desired languor before giving us a moment’s respite on the mysterious introduction to Withered Memories of Souls We Mourn, which returns to its abrasive Old School roots. The musicians make sure to make a lot of skulls nod with this war machine that relentlessly tramples us, playing with different paces to lead us to Dying Embers of Solitude and its bewitching leads that will also eventually give way to ferocity. The track keeps its soaring melancholic touch even at a high tempo, then it’s into heaviness that the band attacks A Lucid Dream in the Paradigm Stream, again relying on intriguing harmonics to bring its solid riffs to life. The soothing break tinges the rhythm, even welcoming a few female backing vocals before accelerating back to its devastating roots with Awareness in the Dark, which gives the guitars a prominent place in the charge, then it’s with No Solace From Above, the longest composition, that the band show us just how powerful their blend is. It begins with a nostalgic touch and sampled vocals, weaving its slow melodies before placing the sultry vocals, but the sound is again broken by this distant voice, before being trampled by a slightly more martial acceleration that still retains the apathetic atmosphere. Back to unbridled brutality for Absence of Reality, which delivers the album’s final slap in the face, pairing vivid solid riffs with a more harmonious but equally saturated edge to accompany the foggy vociferations.

Although surprised by a new release so close, I was delighted to hear Sarcasm screaming again. Their heart-rending Swedish roots are perfectly exploited on Mourninghoul, a putrid-smelling new album that has nothing to envy the monuments of the style.


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