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Last Dusk - Memento Mori (2016) - Review

Band: Last Dusk
Album title: Memento Mori
Release date: 16 August 2016
Label: Self-released

01. The Fool
02. Evocation (2016 version)
03. The Outsider (2016 version)
04. Oblivion
05. The Devil´s Flower
06. The Broken Altar (Das Projekt cover)
07. Memento Mori
08. There's A Thing In The Garden...

Six long years after the band was founded finally arrives their debut album boldly entitled Memento Mori. Last Dusk is a Costa Rica based band which was founded by Carfax Haddo out of the ashes from now defunct act Draconian Incubus and have gained some kind of a cult status, not only in their country but also abroad, already with their debut EP Trismegistus which came out in 2012. Many line-up changes followed after that, the band also played their first live shows among which the most attention grabbing was the appearance at Sacrosanct festival in 2015. It seems that now Last Dusk have settled fine and are beside Ariel Maniki And The Black Halos the most prominent gothic/dark rock band in their country.

Memento Mori is not an easy album, those eight featured tracks are one of darkest versions of orthodox goth out there. It's not your typical the Sisters or the Nephs influenced goth rock, far from that, it has more to do with bands like Nosferatu, Das Projekt, Christian Death, also with Bauhaus and oddly I sense some Devil Doll influence, all of that can be found in their music, and those who knew Draconian Incubus will hear that Last Dusk is more or less a logical evolution of that sound. Anyway, don't expect to hear some kind of a modern goth album, Last Dusk are deeply rooted in the early 80s, maybe even late 70s, but still they are intriguing enough to satisfy also the most demanding kind of dark music lovers.

This album shows quite a progression if compared to their debut EP. The compositions on Memento Mori are quite simplistic, but with addition of some darkwave, post-punk and death rock the thing becomes interesting. The rhythmic line is strong, reverberate bass lines, mellow drums and typical gothic rhythm guitar lines with some sparkling gloomy guitar insertions can became addictive after a couple of listens. It's pretty much evident that Carfax puts his soul into his rather deep and dramatic voice, yet together with gloomy synths and hypnotic guitar vibe there comes some kind of a cinematic horror ambiance into the picture, best heard in the tracks like it's funerary "The Outsider", ambiental "The Devil's Flower" which works out like a soundtrack for any occult/horror flick from 70s, or in the haunting and absolutely creepy "There's A Thing In The Garden...". Also the cover version of Das Projekt's "The Broken Altar" is seemingly more haunting and horrid that the original one. There are some tracks that I would leave outside this box, for example the disturbing title track is simply to weird.

Don't expect to hear any grooves, neither any energetic outbrakes, nor there are any special catchy melodies, Memento Mori is not a dynamic album, rather than that is an extract of everything gloomy, dark and horrific inside goth music in general. The overall atmosphere is quite restless, also psychedelic, sometimes tumultuous and everything that comes in mind while listening to it is awareness of your own mortality. The production done by Ariel Maniki is maybe just a bit too rough on certain parts, but solid enough and adds some kind of an old dusty hint. The pace is often slow and doomy, it creates a hypnotic feeling. The only thing that disturbs me is a bit too flat sound and I hope that the band adds in the future some more density, thus makes everything a bit richer.

Memento Mori is a good effort from Last Dusk and a nice monument to ever growing central and south American goth scene. It offers 38 minutes of demanding gloomy music and I'm sure that every real gothic rock fan will enjoy in those deadly tunes. Now, my suggestion is that you should prepare for yourself the right mood, fire up some candles and close the lights, get comfortable, threat yourself well with a bottle of some good red wine and drown into the abyss of Memento Mori, you'll see how good it feels.

Review written by: T.V.
Rating: 7/10