Another one that’s been sat on the review pile for some time (apologies to the band) is this self-released effort from German melodic blackened death metal act, Morthus. Originally unleashed upon an unsuspecting world in October 2014, the EP is available through Morthus’ Bandcamp page.
Given the band’s recent formation (2011), they’ve produced four very tight tracks which are surprisingly easy to listen to. I’m not a fan of the more extreme / black end of the musical scale, but this has enough melody around it to soften the blow and make all four tracks very enjoyable indeed.
In all cases, they’ve managed to blend some incredibly fast drumbeats with slow, heavy guitar. As such, you can choose to go mental to the faster pace or nod your head more steadily to the non-percussive instruments. Not that this takes away from the ferocity and overall sense of evil throughout. Take the third track, “Eternal Epidemic” for example. The initial blast gives way to a far more manageable pace by the time the track is a minute old and the guitars and vocals come through clearly.
Oh, yes, the vocals. As far as I can gather, the work of a single member of the band – Kharon – they range from the sickeningly guttural to the deep and rumbling. Impressive.
On the whole I found that the songs improved as I went through the EP, with the best track being the closer, “Symphony of the Black Death”. Production is good for what’s being marketed as a “demo”, and the bass in particular really thumps through if you’re listening on decent headphones.
The good news is that the band just announced today that they’re starting work on their first full length album.