When I listened to September Mourning’s Volume 1 last year I was fairly impressed and intrigued by this “transmedia dark culture project.” While certainly not the first band to share their concept across different mediums – September Mourning seemed to be handling the idea of one story being told simultaneously through different mediums fairly well, increasing hopes that both would continue to strive.
The idea behind this project hooked me. The concept of having this one story told through not just songs, but also a comic is exciting. Not to mention this is shaping up to be told through more than just one album and comic. When I heard that Volume II was on its way I was interested to see how this would progress. Volume II has more of a cohesive feel to it, with the songs ordered in such a way that help drive the story. Initially though, I felt a little cheated. Here I am expecting the story to continue and then I am presented with the tracks from Volume 1. After listening to the entire record though it makes sense. The EP was somewhat of a sampler. An intro. And for the project to continue properly with everyone understanding the story of the human-reaper hybrid who has decided to give some humans a second chance – no part of the story can be missing. The tracks from Volume 1 have been arranged in such a way that allows the tale to flow with more ease, so that you won’t feel as if you missed a vital aspect if you missed Volume 1. I imagine it would work the same way with the comics. The story will make just as much sense as a standalone read without hearing the albums, but doing both would only enhance each other.
Opening with “The Collection” – a spoken word track introduces Volume II. There are several spoken word moments cut between tracks to help progress the story. Spoken word pieces mixed among a record can be hit or miss. September Mourning have thankfully landed a hit. Spoken word can sometimes feel like the record is bunny hopping along in a constant stop and start motion. Here they are short snippets that flow seamlessly from track to track.
Volume II is a solid rock/electronic album that really shows the band continuing develop their own sound and firmly plant their hold within the genre. The record is a mix of catchy rock tracks (“Skin and Bones”, “20 Below”, “Superhuman”) and darker, meatier tracks (“Angles to Dust”, “Childran of Fate”, “‘Till You See Heaven”). When I reviewed Volume 1 I mentioned that they were still trying to find their place as a band – well I think it is safe to say they have found it. The concept behind the entire project is interesting – and luckily the art that holds it all together is of the highest quality. So – if you are just here because the idea seemed interesting, I am sure you will stay when the music and its story engulfs you.