Morta Skuld
Wounds Deeper Than Time

Milwaukee Wisconsin’s Morta Skuld released a monstrous debut album in 1993, Dying Remains and I listened to it constantly.  Beyond quality death metal, with some thrash metal tendencies, but leaning more towards the brutal side of things, like Demolition Hammer and eventually some Solstice influence.  Well fast forward 24 years later and I get to finally meet guitarist/vocalist, Dave Gregor, on their recent tour with Embalmer and Scorched.  I truly had a wonderful time and Dave and I hit it off from the start, conversating about metal and personal lives.  Killer dude and band and I now have a new friendship, win-win for all around. Live-they were extraordinary.

Several years ago, Morta Skuld signed with Peaceville Records and Dave was a man with a plan.  Dying Remains was reissued to a stunning remaster 4 years ago and As Humanity Fades and For All Eternity receiving facelifts as well, in 2016.  Excellent sounds and it was killer I was able to buy them from Dave at the Baltimore show, recently.  Well, they sold out of As Humanity Fades, but nothing that Ebay couldn’t fix for me and I scored a copy within 10 minutes of the show ending.  Morta Skuld are still in the process of getting 1997’s Surface remastered, and it has proven to be an arduous task with the layout.  This sucks.  Maybe I need to find out where the graphic artist is and pay him a visit.  Anyway, I snoozed and failed to realize the band released a brand new album, Wounds Deeper Than Time.  Yes-please everyone needs to start the public shaming of Frank.  Well I picked up a copy at the show and I am truly upset at myself.  Here is why.  I handed in my best of, for 2017, kinda early, due to the holidays and taking the family on a vacation.  Had I waited longer this album would have made my list.  If we do our supplemental piece, Fillings and Cavities, this mutha effer will be on it, without a doubt.  Yes, this is one of the best albums of 2017.

The band actually opened the show I saw them at with the album opener, “Breathe in the Black”.  Not only a perfect album opener, but a fantastic way to start a live show.   The heavy crunch of the guitar and the windmilling blast beats, not only capture the essence of what initially made Morta Skuld great 25 years ago, but ups the ante, by way of upgraded production values, the strongest song-writing in the bands career and a true commitment as to why Dave decided to reform the band in 2012.  Dave’s vocals sound deeper and angrier and the guitar playing is top notch.  Scott Willecke plays guitar, as well and he kicks ass live.  A nice dude, as well.  It’s also cool that both he and Dave do guitar solos.  Eric House, smashes the drums, because quite frankly-he wants to.  The way he pummels you with the double bass and then the song picks up speed.  Quick little blast, before going into a more powerful blast and then right back into the groove.  Aj kills it with his powerful bass guitar playing and the added heaviness adds to the strongest rhythm section, the band has ever had.  And if you thought the band would let up on the gas pedal-then crawl back under that rock and never leave.  “Hating Life” [no-not a Grave cover song], is brutal, with blasts and some well done guitar soloing at the 1.49 section.  Dave also sings a little clearer in certain sections and also let’s us know he still has the brutality, with some well placed vicious growls and higher register growl/screams.  The mid-paced pounding brutality also will collapse chest cavities worldwide.  And while your chest is collapsing, and you’re choking to death and cities are falling into sinkholes, all around you, you will continue to say: “I Will Get Through This, I’m Hating Life”, over and over and over again until death comes to wisk you away.    Rest of the album- this good??  Hell yes.  How about “Devour the Chaos” with the evil guitar melodies and riffing and yes I caught some vintage pinch harmonics in there.  I started swinging once I heard ‘em.  The tune has a classic death thrash beat and mid paced rumbling heaviness which will pummel you and “Scars Within”-Oh Lordy, Lordy, Lordy.  Monster blasting, vocals, ethereal guitar soloing and some monster riffing at the 3.35 part.

The production is top-notch, all instruments sound great, nothing buried.  When a guitar solo needs to be lifted in the mix, it’s never obnoxious, and is in line with the rest of the production.  Every song drips: catchiness, class, brutality, melody and well-written and well-thought out songs.  No filler-only killer.  And christ almighty-good to see Peaceville throwing some coin at Morta Skuld.  The layout is one of the best I’ve seen.  Interesting and visually striking album cover, with an enormous booklet.  24-panel booklet with photos, pics, and killer graphics.  All housed in a great digipak.  Morta Skuld are the fuck back, either step the fuck away or come closer and join ’em.  Wounds Deeper Than Time is a godly album.  Buy or Die!

 

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Frank Rini
January 23rd, 2018

Comments

  1. Commented by: Allred

    Great review Frank, this ended up being one of my faves of 2017. Better than a lot of the stuff the old death metal guard released this past year. \m/


  2. Commented by: Byrath

    I skipped right past this one because it got a 2.5/5 on AMG. Big mistake, this kicks all kinds of ass! OSDM done right, much like Horrendous.. but I think this leans a bit more towards the brutal. That bass is just filthy, love the tone of all the instruments here. 4.5/5 for me after 1.5 listens.


  3. Commented by: Nick Taxidermy

    Jesus christ these drums are murder.


  4. Commented by: F.Rini

    Gentlemen-thanks for all your words and glad you’re digging back into Morta Skuld. Killer act. The surfacing reissue is due out this year and they are writing a new full-length. Live-they’re crushingly tight.


  5. Commented by: Dave

    For me, toss all the gravity blasting, ultra-tech death metal and throw it in the trash. This is how it’s done.


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