September Mourning occupy two worlds. In the “real world,” the cinematic Los Angeles heavy alternative quintet—September [vocals], Riven [guitar], Wraith [guitar], Shadou [bass], and Stitch [drums]—swiftly cemented themselves among rock’s rising vanguard upon emerging in 2015 with acclaim from Nerdist, AXS, Revolver Magazine, Loudwire, New Noise Magazine, and many others in addition to tours alongside the likes of Marilyn Manson, Otep, Avatar, and more. In the fictional world of their 2016 Sumerian Records full-length debut Volume II and Top Cow Productions [Witchblade, The Darkness] graphic novel series, the frontwoman stands out as a human-reaper hybrid narrowly saving pure souls from the insatiable appetite of Fate. This empowering escape encompasses music, art, visuals, and an immersive literary companion. She might just be the heroine rock needed all along…
“We want to create an inviting and welcoming universe,” exclaims September. “When you listen to us, you’re transported to another realm and become a part of the story.”
That story unfolds over the course of Volume II. Produced by Sahaj Ticotin [Sevendust, Ill Niño] and Howard Benson [My Chemical Romance, Skillet] and recorded throughout 2015, the album’s twelve tracks weave together a nail-biting narrative that follows September as she “swaps souls” and defies Fate. Dialogue from the graphic novel punctuates the rapturous union of robust guitars, sweeping orchestral electronics, and her hypnotic and hard-hitting delivery.
Picture Marilyn Manson-size theatrics, gorgeous heaviness a la Muse, and a big screen-worthy scope for a snapshot of what’s to come.
“There are so many flavors in these songs,” she goes on. “It’s hard rock with huge addictive choruses. Volume II comprises a bunch of different media pieces. It’s a musical adaptation of the storyline.”
The single “20 Below” begins with a rallying chant, percussive handclaps, and booming drums before her voice enchants with a siren’s swell.
“At the end of the second comic issue, there’s a storyline about a girl who was killed by her boyfriend,” she explains. “I tend to write a lot about the cycle of abuse because I’ve been privy to such cycles throughout my life. That cycle is a weird germ that spreads from generation to generation. The song is about reaching that point where you’ve had enough, so you stand up for yourself. Even though it happens in the comic book, it’s something I drew on personal events for.”
Elsewhere, “Eye of the Storm” trudges ahead on a sinewy guitar and unshakable refrain. Its music video merges animation and performance and quickly racked up 100,000 views in less than a month’s time.
“The song is about September Mourning the character,” she says. “It’s her journey of trying to help rescue good but often damaged souls and bring them into the fold so they realize they’re never really alone. It’s uplifting.”
On the other end of the spectrum, “Skin and Bones” pairs a stomping groove with another engaging melody. “The song is about self awareness and personal strength against those who bully or negatively affect you. People often judge you by the way you look, and they don’t take the time to find out who you are. When that type of negativity beats you down psychologically to the point your ego is severely wounded, it’s really hard to fight back. This song is very much about being strong enough within the core of who you are so that those things can never affect you.”
As a result of this honesty, September Mourning continues to attract fans to its legion of supporters fondly dubbed, “The Children of Fate.” That army helped fund a successful Kickstarter campaign to launch the graphic novel and religiously follows the band. The message in Volume II benefits “The Children of Fate” the most.
“I hope fans can empower themselves,” September leaves off. “It’s all about empowerment. I want to transfer the power I found to survive what I’ve gone through. I want them to feel like they can conquer anything when they listen to us or read the comic. This is for them. It was supported by them. It gets stronger because they’re a part of this world.”