Album Review: September Mourning – “Volume I” EP

In May of this year, first brought coverage of an alternative/hard rock band to our audience. A cross-media band, whose story is so large and sweeping, it could not be contained to just a rock show. After a successful Kickstarter campaign, September Mourning raised over $20,000, more than double the amount they were seeking, to help produce a comic book which supplements the story told onstage.

According to their Facebook, “The character of September Mourning is a human-reaper hybrid, who feels the need to give some human souls a second chance, and thus toys with Fate.” And now, with the release of their self-titled EP, September Mourning’s story will be seen, and heard.

The line-up on the EP, and on the current tour, consists of September (Vocals), Shadou (Bass), Riven (Guitar), Wraith (Guitar), and Stitch (Drums). Coming in just under 20 minutes, the EP does give a good introduction to the band, and the story told.

Opening with “The Collection,” the song quickly sets the tone for what’s about to unfold. The “Collection,” of course refers to the collection of souls that the reaper must do, without judgement. With a simple bell-like sound accompanying September’s sultry, almost raspy, voice. Soon, guitar and drum engulfs her voice. The song weaves a gothic tapestry of sound with powerful, and sometimes foreboding guitars. “Together will die/Together we will rise/Together we will fall” before seamlessly transitioning into “Angels to Dust.”

“Angels to Dust” tells the story about the fall from being an angel, opening with the verse “Giving up slowly/Underneath the weight of this world/Shedding my wide wings/Watching as my halo burns”. Heavy, distorted guitars open, the song, and provide an angsty backdrop, which serves the song well. The refrain repeats several times through the song, is probably my favorite lyric from the album “In the end when we’ve lost our only trust, we’ll turn from angels into dust, ’til there’s nothing left of us.”

“Before the Fall” is a lot heavier than the other tracks on the album, with more anger than the other songs, “The rage is burning from within/Your scars I’m wearing on my skin/My fatal flaw/The weakest part of me is you.” The song also features more screaming from September than the previous tracks. It serves well to bring more texture and emotion to such a complex project.

“Children of Fate” starts off with a voiceover from September, and is probably the best known song from the band, being released as a single almost a year ago. The title has also served as a nickname for fans of the group, September explained, “‘Children of Fate’ is a call to arms for every person who has felt helpless, hopeless or worthless…a battle cry against the negativity we are surrounded by everyday.” With lyrics like “We won’t bend, we won’t break, as we burn through the world” it’s clear the song is meant to empower.

“Eye of the Storm” starts to bring the story back full circle. The line “Escape from all your darker days, I’ll lead the way back home” speaks to the second chance at life that September gives to some unfortunate souls.

The last song on the EP is a a reimagining of Ben E. King’s R&B classic, “Stand by Me”. To call the song a cover is inaccurate, as the music has been turned on its head to fit the tone of the rest of the EP, fitting in perfectly with the rest of the story told.

My only complaints with the record are that it is too short, and there’s no lyric insert. Though, with digital music being what it is, that is understandable, and for the second, with the EP being titled Volume 1, a second one is sure to follow. In all, the freshman release from September Mourning does not disappoint, and will surely help them to gain new fans.
Buy “Children of Fate” on iTunes:
Check out our interview with September Mourning, and review of their show, here

Review by Josh Chaikin

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