There’s been a trend lately of bands evoking sounds from metal’s glory days, which we’ve talked about numerous times over on The Sons of Metal Podcast. In the thrash subgenre, we had Dust Bolt and Gorefield, and in stoner doom/occult rock, we had Bloody Hammers. While these two subsets of metal get the most retro action, it’s nice to get some old-school death metal for a change.
Morbidity hail from Bengal, Bangladesh and aim to hit that sweet spot where heavy thrash and death metal were nearly synonymous, say 1990–1994, and for the most part, they nail it. Revealed From Ashes is their first solo release. Previously, they had put out a demo and a split with Serbia’s Exorcised, neither of which I have listened to.
Before I get started, I want to point out that the ARC I got the from the promoter didn’t have track numbers, so it’s unlikely I listened to the songs in their "proper" order, but if there was a specific order intended, I didn’t feel like I missed anything.
Going alphabetically by track name, Decaying Souls is an instrumental piece, which works well as an album opener. The bass takes the forefront here, which is always a nice touch.
Incarnations of Death opens with a pounding beat, reminiscent of early Unleashed. Defiler’s vocals remind me of David Vincent around the Domination era. There’s a certain metallic (the element, not the musical style) quality to it that adds to the aesthetic.
While we’re referencing Morbid Angel, the guitar soloing on this album has a very Azagthothian quality to it as well. While it’s not quite as crazy as Trey could get at times (although they get pretty close on the title track), it maintains that level of quality and complexity.
The band-titled track,Morbidity has a very thrash-like intro before the more traditional death metal riffing comes in. Another stand-out track is Pits of Torment which has a galloping rhythm that had to be written for live performances, as it’s a perfect mosh song.
Morbidity aren’t afraid to mix it up, either. The track SkullCrusher is a mid-paced number that does what it advertises — slowly beating your head into the pavement before finishing with a wailing guitar solo, which I imagine is the sound of you crying before bleeding out.
Overall, this is a very solid death metal album. There are enough callbacks to the old school to trigger that nostalgic longing while still keeping the sound fresh for today’s ears and avoiding sounding like a cover band. Some of the songs go on just a bit too long and could be trimmed slightly for a tighter sound, but for a debut album, this is quality stuff. Check this out when it is formally released.
Two tracks are currently (19 Jun 2014) available on the band’s Bandcamp page.
Special thanks to Transcending Obscurity PR for the complementary advance review copy.