Morbikon
Ov Mournful Twilight

This album seemingly dropped out of nowhere towards the end of 2022, with an impressive array of musicians. Morbikon consists of: Matthias “Vreth” Lillmåns/vox (Finntroll, Festerday, etc), Quotidius/vox, Phil “Landphil” Hall/bass&guitar (Cannabis Corpse, Iron Reagan, Municipal Waste), Dave Witte (Municipal Waste, Brain Tentacles, Human Remains &1,000 other bands).

The band is international, as you have American and Finnish musicians collaborating to drop this impressive conglomeration of blackened death/thrash metal.  I do want to add I especially enjoy the album artwork, as well as the cool ass band logo – super sharp and the shades of blue in the cover, as well as the border art, around the cover, is striking.

“Consumed by Entropy” is the opener and paves the assaultive path of brutal destructiveness in this 8 song 48 minute debut.  Massive old-school death/thrashiness opens the album with squealing guitars and the double-pounding drums, of Mr. Dave Witte is a thing of brutal beauty.  The song slows down and the atmospheric and melodic black metal moments truly shine during these moments.  Powerful drum rolls and some killer screams, alongside some cool guitar solos, in and around the 2 minute mark, is only just the beginning.  A mere half minute later the isolated guitar riffing reminds me of Celtic Frost, circa 1985 and then the galloping speed has some Frost-like moments, as well as the slow-down section.  Therefore; this is one helluva opening number.  The massive cymbal hits at the end of the song will explode your eardrums immediately.

“Universal Funeral”, with its almost rhyme-like song title, is a great galloping number with an excellent main catchy guitar riff and guitar solos early on.  The black metal vocals moments remind me of former Skeletonwitch singer Chance Garnette-when he would mix up the deep moments with those razor slice and diced black metallish moments.  After the black metal moments there are deeper vocals and seeing that Morbikon has 2 singers, the dual tones compliment one another exceedingly well – those deeper registers bringing forth the death metal influences are great.

“Cursed to March on Shattered Limbs” is over 7 minutes and has a nice acoustic guitar opening segment, alongside some atmospheric guitar soloing and the music hitting with the vocals, soon thereafter, adds to the epic slow-burn build-up.  This song and parts of the album remind me of France’s Necrowretch, at the start of their career, before they pretty much went full-on black metal.  Many cool moments are abound in this song.  Guitar solos, excellent black metal, yet catchy riffing, creative dual vocals, and some great drumming tie this song in quite well.  Do not snooze at around the 4-minute section when some classic metal influences creep in with the solos etc..

The title track is a terrific example of not only all the blackened death metal moments gelling, reeking of cold atmosphere, but Mr. Dave “Admirations Most Deep and Foul” Witte ups the ante by throwing in some blast beats.  The 4.43 section is that moment when he shows his high-speed blasting skills.  The riffing, screams, solos, and tight AF drumming, make this section pretty darn intense.

Morbikon’s debut album is a scorching hellfire display of blackened death thrash metal, that in many ways is fresh sounding, as well as paying homage to some of the earliest purveyors of the 80’s/90’s scene.  The songwriting and musicianship is outstanding and that is what I expect when I know scene veterans are involved in a project like this.  I can only hope this Morbikon debut is not a one-and-done release, but one in which they can expand on and potentially even top on the next go around.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Frank Rini
January 19th, 2023

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