The five-piece (Consisting of vocalist J, guitarists Dan and Jord, bassist Vikki and drummer Lee) hail from Berkshire, and have been building a name for themselves on the UK alt. rock circuit since their 2015 debut album “Hymns For The Hopeless”. With their penchant for mixing modern melancholia with traditional post-punk aesthetics they’ve quickly grown an impressive underground following. Just last year they released the much anticipated follow up to their debut; a new EP by the brilliant name of “Mournography”…let’s see if we get a kick out of this cadaver…
The EP opens up with “Blaspheme With Me” and right away we’re greeted with a blend of melodic guitar and surging yet sensual riffage…vocally J has a depth to his drawl but it doesn’t go as far as complete baritone like other Gothic rock and metal artists. The two aspects combine well and in ways it can be said it combines the likes of ENTWINE and THE CRUXSHADOWS… a lengthy opener at five minutes but it’s still a great start. “Valentine’s Mourning” continues along the same vein but is a touch more up-tempo and has more of a pop aesthetic with its hooks and overall rhythm. Lyrically steeped in sadness and loss but musically it’s such an uplifting track, a typical yet welcome oxymoron, really fun track this.
We slow things down next for “Within Tragedy” and it takes on a far more elegant tone; the sweeping orchestral elements of the synths really set the mood here while the rock aspects of the track chug along casually, giving it weight and carrying the track forward. If you are all about the slow burn and the melancholy then look no further than closing track “In The Arms Of A Sadist”…at seven minutes plus it embraces a clear doom influence from the likes of MY DYING BRIDE and simply oozes despair, which is very fitting given their name it has to be said, though it’s countered by the previous track “Damnation Tonight” which incorporates more harmonious keys and more groove-heavy goth ‘n’ roll, balancing out the EP perfectly.
Essentially what Her Despair do here is bridge eras in Gothic music; sounding crisp and fresh with their song writing and production, while also channeling the original bleak charm and quality of the likes of Goth godfathers SISTERS OF MERCY and BAUHAUS. This, alongside their debut confirm that they are one of the brightest (Or should that be darkest?) rising talents on the Goth scene. If you’ve been wanting some quality Goth, stock up on the Kleenex because you’ll be getting off to “Mournography”.