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Mortuus: Grape of the Vine

From the icy orthodox canon of Swedish black metal, the mysterious collective known as Mortuus returns to un-life in 2014 with Grape of the Vine, a full-length ode to death's shadowed face. When held up to the black candlelight of their peers, Mortuus play music that is much more akin to Secrets of the Moon than something like fellow countrymen Marduk or Watain. Their music has a distinct feeling of ritual, as well as the uncomfortable notion of being suspended over an abyss of complete and utter darkness.

Drawn out chords and freezing riffs are blended over a lumbering pace that rarely exceeds any speed limits, while the vocals sound cavernous and echoing. Screams and shrieks are exchanged for an almost clean bellow that is far more effective with this type of doomy ponderousness. Album highlights include the excellent 'Disobedience,' with its trance-like hypnosis of repeated riffs and crashing rhythm section. Also effective is closing song 'Tzel Marveth,' with its Thorns-like riffs and melodic leads cascading over the harsh vocal attack. The title track gets the point across as well, with its ultra-slow mid-point drum-roll and creeping menace.

Overall Mortuus could hastily be described as a slower, poor man's Thorns mixed with a healthy dose of Privilegvm era Secrets of the Moon. Strong vocal performance and a healthy attention to detail raise it above mere mimicry, so don't think Grape of the Vine is merely derivative. Mortuus state they will never be a traditional band, and seem to hover inside the headspace of the deeply spiritual, dare I say religious, wing of extreme black metal. Bands like that rarely do anything in a stable, linear fashion, so cherish this release from Mortuus, because no one knows if you'll see another one.


Track Listing

  1. Layil
  2. Grape of the Vine
  3. Torches
  4. Sulphur
  5. Disobedience
  6. Nemesis
  7. Tzel Maveth

Added: October 22nd 2014
Reviewer: Nicholas Franco
Score:
Related Link: Band Facebook Page
Hits: 2113
Language: english

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