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Morne: Shadows

East Coast doomsters expand their bleak palette

Shadows is the third album from Boston-based doom merchants Morne, and it’s one that sees them step away from the crust influences of their 2009 Untold Wait debut to embrace a bleaker, darker sound.

Featuring four tracks plus one bonus cut, the epic opus packs many moods and ideas into the music, often over the course of a single song, and there’s a wealth of hooks on offer that regularly threaten to embed themselves in your cerebral cortex for an aeon. Drummer Billy Knockenhauer does a sterling job throughout, driving the band onward through the darkness, and Milosz Gassan’s impassioned vocals infuse the likes of New Dawn with both menace and melancholy in equal measure.

While Shadows is unquestionably an unashamed and unrelenting doom record, there are also hints of classic rock and 70s prog to be found, too, such as in A Distance, as well as a few nods to Disintegration-era Cure (the title track in particular has some of that famous spidery guitar work). It’s an engaging listen that delivers in spades.