Among the Mortals: Of Ignorance and Dismissal

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Among the Mortals: Of Ignorance and Dismissal
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Among the Mortals: Of Ignorance and Dismissal
Melodic Death Metal
Self-release
February 19th, 2011
Release length: 53:55
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Among the Mortals is a Melodic Death Metal act from Oulu, Finland. The band intially formed back in 1997, but due to the departure of the band’s then permanent guitarist, the group disbanded from 2002 until 2005. Among the Mortals picked up where it left off as a two-piece with founding members Luosujärvi handling all duties on the release except drums, which are handled by Hanhisuanto. In 2009, the group issued their first release under this line-up, an EP entitled Oiad, which was followed up in February of 2011 with their first full-length recording, a self-financed recording entitled Of Ignorance and Dismissal, an interesting piece that seems to have a bit of an identity crisis going on with it. Around the web, the band is considered a Melodic Death Metal act, but Of Ignorance and Dismissal shows that the band isn’t your typical group of this style.

While there are tracks on Of Ignorance Dismissal that are just blatent Melodic Death Metal in a rather stereotypical fashion, such as the track “Weep, You Lifeless”, there are other elements in other songs that seem to bring this release into other musical realms. “Beyond Divinity” comes off more with a stronger Black Metal influence to the music, especially with the atmosphere, but the keyboards utilized on the song also seem to branch it off to a slight Space Rock kind of vibe, having a stronger atmosphere to it that feels like it’s trying to take the listener away at times, but just doesn’t quite reach that specific goal. Of course, that could just be a sheer coinicdence, but the styart of “Distant Mist” and even the intro to “Beyond Divinity” definitely show the band toying around with some Progressive ideas, so perhaps it’s not too far fetched to believe it as an intentional idea. “Penitence”, as well as some other tracks on the recording, seem to take on an atmosphere of despair, an approach that one can allude to depressive Black Metal acts like Lifelover with the atmosphere that the slower, spoken word section of this track gives off, as well as many of the other slower passages of this effort.

It’s actually really hard to get a lock on half the ideas being presented to Of Ignorance and Dismissal. On top of those rather Progressive elements, you have songs like “A Dream Like None” whether the spirit of Emperor is clearly captured. However, this track also shows how bad the production quality of the album is, and how it can actually kind of hurt the recordibng. The quality of the music is a high pitch then it really should be, taking away some of the heaviness of the music, and with it a bit of the bite, especially with the really muffled double bass kicks fromt he drums. The vocals are also a little worse for wear here, being a little too far back in the mix then usuasl. The vocals themselves often aren’t bad and suit the raw quality of the release, but when there are attempts to reach a higher pitch outside the traditional gutteral that sometimes just feels a little harsher, the more rhaspier Black Metal-like wails can come off horrible and make the listener basically stop everything and make sure what they heard was correct. “A Dream Like None” makes for the perfect proof of this, as while the song itself is far from bad, there’s this weird back of the throat vocal approach used throughout for a random shriek that sounds like an attempt at a Black Metal-esque wail, but instead just sounds like someone gurggling from the back of the throat into the microphone, making them just sound very awkward. This also happens during “The Darkened Parth”, a little past half way, and sounds more like a bird then anything.

But, this shouldn’t stop you from enjoying some of the better tracks of the recording. “Weep, You Lifeless” is an entertaining Melodic Death Metal track, and some of the depressive elements of “Beyond Divinity” and “Penitence” are fantastic and really capture the listener emotionally instead of just with fast and heavy music. “The Latter Day Rebels” is another excellent Melodic Death Metal track that has some faster paced music and really finds the band at their best and most energetic. However, “Pygmalion” shows off what the band is musically capable of in a very strong instrumental track that lasts over eight minutes, and will have the listener’s attention the entire time. The track blends up the band’s faster paced materials with some slower depressive elements coupled with the traditional Symphonic Black Metal keyboards that have appeared through many of the songs on the recording. The bass on this track also plays a substantial role, while on other tracks it sadly doesn’t stand out half as much as it does here.

Of Ignorance and Dismissal is an interesting effort to say the least. The music clearly comes from various influences and styles, and throughout the recording there isn’t a single song that feels similar to a a previous song here. The final quality of the release could be better, but this is a self-finance full-length so it’s expected the quality would be raw, but at times that raw quality does hinder the outcome of the album a bit. Other then that, desipte some confusion towards what the band wants to sound like musically, and the other pointed out in this release, it’s an impressive step for Among the Mortals, and makes them a band to definitely keep an eye on.

01. Beyond Divinity – 5:12
02. Weep, You Lifeless – 3:56
03. Distant Mist – 3:14
04. A Dream Like None – 7:15
05. Passion Amid Ruins – 4:00
06. Hannah – 1:20
07. Penitence – 3:50
08. The Latter Day Rebels – 4:48
09. Ad Noctum – 6:44
10. Pygmalion – 8:34
11. The Darkened Path – 5:02
Overall Score: 7.5/10

Physical review copy of this release provided by Among the Mortals.