Thursday, 13 March 2014

Morbus Chron - Sweven - Album Review

Morbus Chron - Sweven

Album Type : Full Length
Date Released : 24/2/2014
Label : Century Media Records

Sweven, album track listing :

01. Berceuse (03:18)
02. Chains (04:49)
03. Towards A Dark Sky (07:49)
04. Aurora In The Offing (05:01)
05. It Stretches In The Hollow (05:10)
06. Ripening Life (06:46)
07. The Perennial Link (05:16)
08. Solace (02:14)
09. Beyond Life's Sealed Abode (05:41)
10. Terminus (06:38)

Bio :

As ‘Sweven’ is now about to be unleashed upon the world, Morbus Chron has carved out their very
own territory of unorthodox death metal. They have gone far beyond their raw and simple initial
style, adding many uncanny acoustic parts to create a nightmare world of utter horror. Together
with producer Fred Estby (ex- Dismember), the band has found a warm, yet haunting sound to go
with their vision. The resulting soundscapes spread out like a wasteland of death and terror, sending
chills down the hardest of spines. Guitar and drum patterns flow in various directions, building
cathedrals of darkness in which Robert's tormented vocals echo in agony.

Morbus Chron's evolution is probably even more obvious when it comes to the lyrical themes and the
artwork. The entire presentation is constructed as an entity, where all of the songs are linked
together in an overall concept of desperation and despair. In addition, renowned psychedelic artist
Raul Gonzales has provided 11 individual paintings for the wonderful packaging. His dreamy, yet
uncanny visuals add to the overall impression of a fully accomplished work of pure art - the band’s
progression since their gore-drenched early days is unparalleled.

While many metal bands claim to be breaking new ground these days, Morbus Chron is one of the
few who really is. Musically, as well as artistically, they are miles ahead of most of the competition,
and they are definitely among the bands that make extreme metal matter again. There's a new
stench of death rising on the horizon...

Smell the coffin.

/Daniel Ekeroth

The Band :

Adam Lindmark | Drums
Edvin Aftonfalk | Lead guitars, Vocals
Robert Andersson | Lead Vocals, Guitars
Dag Landin | Bass

Review :

The second full length from Sweden's Morbus Chron sees the one time death metallers expand their sound further. Not for them, the pro-tools perfection and hyper speed of much of modern metal. Instead, what reveals itself here is a much more angular listen- progressive (but not like Cynic or Opeth), dour and downbeat and rather necro in sound. Berceuse sets the mood with atmospherics before Chains shows an impressive breadth of sound over its nigh on five minutes of playing time. The riffing is heavy and also textured the breaks mellow and wistful, the vibe melancholic.

Towards a Dark Sky follows with more textures and some faster sections coupled with some rather odd riffing and an almost jazzy feel at times. The whole thing is Some sections are reminiscent of latter day Death, but don't take that as a comparison or reference point. Traditional death/prog metal this most definitely is not.

Aurora In The Offing starts slow with a kind of Floridian tone to the riffs, but mixed with a uniquely Scandinavian feel that brings in a thrash section of some oddness with howled vocals and ringing riffs. There are some excellent passages of guitar interplay around the two minute mark as the band deftly handles the changes. The solos are killer too, and the track is one of the more straight “metal” pieces on the record. It Stretches in the Hollow is more restrained to begin with as clean and creepy guitars set up some stop/start lines. The band then spreads their wings impressively with some progressive passages and more excellent guitar interplay.

Ripening Life is a discordant romp that uses straight time signatures with riffs that are anything but. The Perrenial Link may feel epic in places but is tightly written and focused in structure. Lesser bands may be tempted to stretch the panoramic riffing to ten minutes plus, but Morbus Chron keep it controlled with sludge pacing and dark vibes aplenty. A clean build up section is also included and marks an agreeable bit of respite from the claustrophobic darkness- until it closes in again, of course.

Solace acts as an instrumental bridge, effectively so, before the progressive and penultimate Beyond Life's Sealed Abode. Again, this is heavy but not aggressive stuff with weaved guitars and live/boxy drums. The vocals take a couple of minutes to come in, and when they do there is more jazziness in the guitar approach to be had. Terminus (sadly not a tribute to the 90's Kent also-rans of the same name) is a more exploratory offering from the band as they experiment with dynamics and halting sections.

Hard to categorise, Morbus Chron have created something unique in the metal world. It is certainly progressive, certainly dark and melancholic and certainly unusual. To really understand it, though, you will have to hear it yourself.

Words by : Richard Maw

You can buy it here

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