Duskmourn is a duo from the New Jersey/Pennsylvania border area near the Pocono mountains and their music lets you know it. They are a mix of folk and melodic epic black metal and I have fondly called them the Moonsorrow of the States on many occasions. Along with Appalachian Winter; who’s songs are solely about the mountains in the southwestern part of the state I now call home, Duskmourn’s music will take you away to the mountains of the eastern part of Pennsylvania. Their 2014 debut full length, Legends, is almost fifty minutes of epic songs about nature, forests, and mountains and has actually become one of my favorite albums of the folk/epic metal genre. Why it’s taken me this long to review it is beyond me because there is much to say about an album this great.
With any great album, it’s the songs that matter and on this album you nine opuses, including four instrumentals, that have the ability to take you on the journey to wherever they are going on their songs. The vocals are typical for the genre being a cross between a melodic death metal growl and a black metal rasp. There is some folk instrumentation in each of the songs with the keyboards providing not just melody and atmosphere but the sounds of flutes and other wind instruments. “Forged By Fire and Stone” is the proper opener and sets the mood right away. The power chords provide the bombastic tempo while some tremolos and leads add more atmosphere to the song. “Ancient Willow” follows it up and is a bit faster and catchier. The flute sounds add most of the atmosphere to this song but it’s the epic nature of the song itself that makes this one of the best songs on the album.
With the exception of a couple of the instrumentals the songs on here are all over five minutes long so each song has an epic feel to it. However, it’s these types of songs that are proper for an album like this. The great thing is the album never tires or starts to become a chore to listen to. It’s because the songwriting is top notch. As most albums of this nature, it should be consumed whole. Each song can stand alone and not sound out of place but together as a contiguous whole the songs take on new life. “Awakening” could stand along side of any song by the more established acts but placed where it is with the rest of the songs on this album it helps carry you away with the rest of the songs on the album. “Dusk Over Fields of Ruins” doesn’t even have to have lyrics. Instead the music is epic as fuck and the clean choirs chanting gives you that goose bump feel.
When a relatively new band creates a debut album of this caliber it makes me stand up and take notice. I understand their sophomore effort is under way and I am very much looking forward to that album. If you enjoy epic black/folk metal than this album is essential.