Silent Path - Mourner Portraits (2012)
In any case, 'Mourner Portraits' is his debut album, although it was originally completed in 2009 and sent to some 'zines, but a deal with a Latvian label fell through and the album was shelved until recently when Canadian label, Hypnotic Dirge Records decided to release it.
Musically this album is depressive black metal with doom characteristics as well as backing keyboards and a rich foreboding atmosphere. When I listen to this album I'm reminded of artists, such as; Xasthur, Nortt and perhaps even Burzum around the 'Filosofem' era. The earlier mentioned atmosphere is dark, sorrowful and in a way smothering, while occasionally mere glimpses of hope arise from the rich guitar melodies, calm acoustics and unusual keyboard parts.
The production is raw, but the volume is still fairly audible, yet the guitars have the expected amount of treble and reverb attached, while the drum work is rather dynamic in sound. The vocals tend to range from strangulating raspiness to grunts, spoken parts and I believe some sampled voices. Speaking of samples you can also find samples of rain and thunderstorms mixed within and put to great effect too. In fact, the first time I listened to the album and heard the samples in, 'Forgotten Sounds' I actually thought it was beginning to rain outside my window.
I've always felt that albums of the more lengthy and depressive black metal quality tend to sound like one big song and this one is really no different. However I can say that I really do enjoy the Burzum-ish qualities in, 'Filth of Mankind' as well, 'Epic Suicide' stands out with the acoustic section near the end of the song, and 'Unwritten Story' is an interesting one simply because the piano melody sounds reminiscent of thee ol' Christmas chime, 'Jingle Bells.' A coincidence, I guess, I mean he is from Iran after all and they don't deck the halls with boughs of holly there... I don't do that either.
All in all though, 'Mourner Portraits' is a solid effort from start to finish and with a fantastic grim cover artwork and great booklet that's sure to please all fanatics of this genre... and of course its always interesting hearing music from exotic places too.