CD Review and Interview: September Mourning’s Reaping Begins

September Mourning

September Mourning

The prayers of the Children of Fate have been answered with the first chapter of the September Mourning saga. Our snow-white human/reaper hybrid queen has unleashed the first collection of songs to the alpha of the story. Bound and bonded in white armor, arms strapped, September takes us on a journey to the world of Mortem (via LA), and showing us how she came to be.

A tale of mortal beauty being stronger than a reaper’s mission, September is bestowed reaper powers and chased by the hunter gatherers surrounding her on stage. Riven, Wraith, Rasper, Shadou and Stitch give noise to the stories through music, although their illustrated alter egos are committed to the chase and capture. It’s a theatrical musical interpretation of a very loud comic book; you just can’t put down. Most importantly it’s a moral play about redemption, second chances and soul stealing, done right.

Based on a comic book she co-wrote with Marc Silvestri, SM is a hybrid mixture of industrial, techno, pop, metal and classical influences. The stories told through illustrations and lyrics and notes giving character plotlines through guitars. The sweetness of Epica and Evanescance coupled with the harsh groove of Korn and bombastic presentation of Nightwish.

“The Collection” is an opening prayer by our divinely touched and chased angel and an introduction to the mourning nation. Blessed are the Children of Fate. “Angels to Dust” is a jumpy, poppy dance beat, burning to ashes what was once godlike in nature with a polished pop sound meets drifty techno. There’s an Angelic tranquil quality to her voice flowing smooth as glass but could shatter your heart with a boot stomp on “Before the Fall.” “Children Fate” has the Euro symphonic metal vibe feel with tweaks and tings of industrial flavor. From the “Eye of the Storm” September channels her female Jonathan Davis, from the torment of both their souls. She smashes childhood innocence on their version of “Stand by Me.” The version Nirvana never played with a moody, jangling guitar plucked softly with unstable thinking interwoven with stark pronounced power chords. September’s vocals start like a soft soothing whisper revolving into a commanding yell, ending in screeching screams.

I was able to ask September some questions about the project.

What were some of your influences artistically and musically? You’ve said that the story and art came first but were there specific bands/singers that made you choose to express the story in this genre?

“The genre came more so from my own personal inclination of what I love to listen to – a strong combination of rock, alternative, metal, pop… always with very melodic overtones. Three bands that come to mind if you could somehow combine them to make our sound: Motionless in White, Disturbed and Muse.”

What was the original inspiration for the September Mourning storyline and concept?

“I have always been obsessed with death… But I have never thought of it as most people do. To me, death is the final curtain call of life; something necessary that gives deeper appreciation of the fact that we exist. To me, death is neither a negative nor positive thing… It is part of the cycle of life. September Mourning is the embodiment of this part of the cycle, but with a twist. Marc [Silvestri] and I changed the rules of death in our universe. She becomes a doorway to another chance at life. A soul-swapping, half-human, half-reaper creature whose humanity leads her to take destiny back from Fate and into the hands of the humans she helps. Clad not in black, but all in white, she is a Valkyrie of the human spirit, a weapon of choice for humanity.”

Did the makeup, stage attire and props (large steel teeth platform, black roses) come naturally out of the story?

“Yes, everything is derived from the story. It’s theatrics, with purpose.”

Will material from Melancholia be played during shows or will it all be from the new EP?

“Melancholia was a bunch of demos we did when we first started to form the musical side. We have really worked hard to develop the songwriting and sound of this project. Now that we have a more developed sound, we feel confident in presenting this debut EP material to the world, and will be playing the songs from it exclusively live.”

Your version of Stand by Me, is quite different, putting a cold hard grip with icy breath on a feel good ‘coming of age’ classic song. Was it a calculated move?  

“Yes, very much so… We wanted to change the feel of this song to fit into the SM world, but we loved the overall concept of the lyrics. They are dark lyrics but they also contain a lot of hope and redemption. That juxtaposition of emotion is thematic to September Mourning.”

You’ve said each song on the new EP is a chapter in September’s story. Will the story continue onto the next record and so on? Will there be a graphic novel to accompany each new release?

“Yes, yes and yes!”

Do other band members have a say in the lyrics and storyline? How is the creative, musical workload dispersed? 

“That side of it comes from me. The other members do contribute to the actual musical development though.”

Is there a band or festival you’d love to tour with?

“We’d love to tour Europe more and do all the festivals over there. Download was amazing this year for us and we had a great time on tour with We Are Harlot. Over here in the US it would be a lot of fun to play Warped Tour next year. There are a lot of amazing bands out there right now; it’s hard to pick just a few. But we would love to be out with Motionless in White, Black Veil Brides, Ghost BC, Nothingmore, Bring Me the Horizon… just to name a few!”

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