Morbifer – Promo

As you could guess, this is suicidal black metal, and as you could guess, the production and playing are suspect at best, and as you could guess, it doesn’t stand out very much from the pack of similar bands out there today. There are some elements that I appreciate the incorporation of: blasting and fast-paced sections are the most important among them. Trist-style slow suicidal black metal gets old after a while, so it’s good to hear a band that possesses a bit more in the way of variation as far as tempo goes. Granted, there’s a lot of typical depressive black metal trappings: generally plodding tempo, mournful arpeggios versus slow tremolo riffing and double bass/rock drum patterns, and, of course, the hallmark shrieking screams. A little variation goes a long way, though, which makes this demo more tolerable than a lot of the same style.

One of the things that makes it LESS tolerable are those aforementioned vocals. Unlike most failures as far as vocals go, I can honestly say that this one isn’t because said vocalist is unable to screech with the best of them. Far from it; he’s very capable and tortured sounding. The primary issue is that he’s much TOO tortured sounding, because every time a shriek comes through, it essentially eradicates all the instruments under it. This alone isn’t too big a deal, because, like in most suicidal black metal, the vocals are rather sparsely employed a lot of the time. What makes them almost intolerable is the cheap microphone with which they were clearly recorded, which reduces every cry of agony to a burst of whining distortion. But, all in all, it doesn’t detract THAT much from the experience to make me hate it as much as others do. Musically, it’s pretty decent.

Yes, most of the riffs are derived from the same chord progressions we’ve heard a million times before in this style of music, but they’re just different enough in this case to be good. The two tracks that make up this promo aren’t unbelievably sophisticated, but they’re decent at what they do, even if they aren’t really reinventing the wheel. Most of the flaws here are, as you would expect, the typical ones in underground suicidal black metal: somewhat clumsy playing (though the drums are real!) and fairly lo-fi production, though I’ve heard worse in both cases. I guess the biggest flaw is that Morbifer doesn’t really do much to stand out from the pack. Some of the forays they make towards a unique sound are good (or at least a more unique sound), such as, as previously mentioned, the fast sections, but it’s really not quite enough yet to truly distinguish the band. All in all, not bad, if rather generic. Just get past the vocals and you’ll find some decent suicidal black metal.

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~ by noktorn on January 16, 2008.

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