September Mourning: Volume 1 review

September Mourning is described not as a band, but as a “transmedia project.” This project involves a series of webisodes, comics, and albums, including their new EP Volume I. Rather than concepts or themes, however, the artistic direction is actually based on a storyline, which will be furthered in their future works. Exploring their new partnership with Virgin Records, September Mourning brings us Volume I, a theatrical twist on a hard alt-rock sound. Among the most notable of the band’s features is their dramatic performance aesthetic. Their elaborate costuming (which we can assume mirrors that found in their comic book) provides an even more encompassing atmosphere, pulling their audience into the story unfolding. Their photos scream comic-con, which is where their vision was announced back in 2010. Volume I delivers all the variety an EP can, yet all the tracks deliver a sort of motivating energy that keeps it cohesive as a work. The instrumentals serve as a pristine example of what hard rock should be—energetic without coming across as overwhelming or overly aggressive. Effectively landing on the thin border between not enough and too much, they kill it, without overkilling it. Frontwoman September juxtaposes her clear, melodic voice with intensity and even well-placed screams. Perhaps the most compelling aspect of the story telling, her vocals weave such profound complexity into the instrumentals that’s impossible to not lose yourself in the music. Her commitment to the energy she puts forth leaves no room for doubt that she’s passionate about the message she and her band are communicating. They lyrics are credited to their programmer, Chris Egert. Despite the intensely hard edge of their sound, September Mourning preaches a surprising positivity. Death, darkness, and despair are indeed topics of conversation, but the lyrics (and the way the group addresses their fans) all point to a message of strength and rising above those obstacles. The most significant central theme is unity. The lyrics either serve as a battle cry or chronicle of new emergence and personal growth. All components of the project’s impact present the sensation of strength and vitality. With such a unique method of storytelling and direct communication of passion, September Mourning have set themselves up for success with Volume I. Rating: 9/10 -Kelly Fox