Review from A Dead Spot of Light E-Zine

Posted by Nick Skog on Sunday, November 4, 2012 Under: Album Reviews
From: A Dead Spot of Light E-Zine
Published: September 13, 2012
Original Link

 Release titles are a strange thing indeed. Take this one for instance: 'Mourner Portraits'. From the first glance one would expect some kind of presentation of various types of grieving. Even though it all touches on a subject all cultures have to deal with in one way or another, it is sad to see how shallow this topic is actually presented on this album. Yet, I am misleading you, the reader, because what the band actually wanted to express is the following (taken from an e-mail, which I received from the band): 

[...]/the entire Silent Path's mourner portraits is about war and all its negative effects over the world so world war II and specially Hitler is the boldest focal point in the album/[...] 

Well, a daring attempt one would say. War is a curious thing and has been a part of the history of man for quite a while, but to reduce war to the aspect of the darker emotions, to bemoan all its ill effects, all the tragedies, the death and destruction would leave out a lot of other aspects: the cheering over victories, the endless parades, the music, the propaganda etc. Like everything, it is a complex and confusing matter with a lot of contrasts as well as disturbing shades. Chris Hedges, to name one example, not too long ago has written a book with the title “War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning” and this clearly indicates the complexity of this topic and how deep it cuts into our/the social fabric. Or take 'Barbara W. Tuchman's 'The March of Folly: From Troy to Vietnam or even good ol' Homer and his Iliad. 

Yet Silent Path stick to the Hippie approach that all is bad and this can be felt throughout the entire release. A mixture between depressive black metal and funeral doom are the basis for the music, while additional samples create some short disturbances. Furthermore, noise plays a minor role as well, but in terms of the overall impact it can actually be neglected. The tempo follows the all too common genre concept, with its emphasis on a slow pace, a good amount of repetition, the all too typical vocals, and reverb and also the production delivers what fans of this kind of music want to hear. 

It is impossible to grasp something of the content of the lyrics, it is also impossible to put the samples into perspective. What should be made of them? Without a booklet one is left – like me, who has received nothing but some MP3s – in the dark and without much to go with. From the mere act of listening one is unable to grasp their actual content. Due to the confusion on how to properly understand the title, it may be best to consult them in order to get the full experience of the album. 

Mourner Portraits is listenable but it lacks some conclusive elements that would put everything in a proper framework. Therefore, while the music is has its moments, offers some nice melodies and such, looking at it from a broader perspective leaves a bit of disappointment. How the aspects of war play out, how the suffering is expressed, remains hidden and blurred; outside of the reach of the listener. The debut album of the Iranian band does not move, does not dare to grab the listener and the emotions are kept silent and apathetic. It all remains hollow and gentle, without any hints on the horrors of the great wars. Not a disaster, but far from good. 

Reviewed by: oneyoudon'tknow 

In : Album Reviews 

Tags: silent path mourner portraits ekove efrits inner trip saman nu depressive black metal funeral doom iran tehran iranian 


Released: July 21, 2012
500 Copies
Depressive Black Metal/Funeral Doom