Morta Skuld
Suffer For Nothing

I’m a big fan of Milwaukee, Wisconsin’s long running death metal act – Morta Skuld.  All their releases rule and their 1993 debut Dying Remains is still a huge influence on the death metal scene today.  The band, always being more of a mid-paced demolishing type of death metal machine but still never afraid to throw in the faster points to keep the listener on their toes as well as creating some excellent tempo shifts in the process.

Their Wounds Deeper than Time 2017 album, their first full album in 20 years, brought in some quicker blasts and enhanced musicianship.  That was one of the best albums for 2017.  Album number six, Suffer for Nothing, has been crafted for the last three years and is 10 songs in 40 minutes.  This is old school death metal done right, but Morta Skuld still sounding fresh and new at the same time familiar.

“Extreme Tolerance” opens immediately with the Holy Shit rolling drums of Eric House and the guitar riffing comes right in and the songs gets right into a blast.  My good friend, Dave Gregor’s vocals are the clearest he ever has sounded.  You don’t even need the lyric sheet – that is how clear his vocals are.  Vocals in the mid-range, raspy nature and the lyrics tell a tale to each song, so understanding them, is a damn bonus!  Some excellent riffing from Dave and Scott. Side note – with the album still not released at the time of this review, Scott Willecke left the band, to concentrate more on his career – good luck brother.  Morta Skuld have already found his replacement.  A gent they have had tour with them before – therefore he is already familiar with the band’s material.

“Abyss of the Mind”, is up next and has that punishing Morta Skuld signature mid-paced groove with some excellent guitar melodies. John Hill adding to the rhythm section with his nice bass work.  About halfway through the song there are some spoken word, like moments, over the drums, then the guitar solo rips right in, over the double bass.  The song picks up pace, with a vintage old school early 90’s beat, then right back into that punishing mid-paced part.  I love Morta Skuld returning to the riff several times.  It’s memorable and catchy.  This song should have been called “Frank punches holes in things listening to this track”.  Dave then lets out a nice growl and the song trails off with some feedback.

“The Face I Hate” has to be mentioned, because the song title rules.  C’mon – think about how many people’s faces you hate and you just want to drop the elbow??  Starting with a brief guitar solo then right into the galloping speed, then right into the mid-paced part and Dave singing the title of the song.  Really nice lyrics and when Dave says hate – I know he has a few people in mind – he spits it out scornfully and with some malice.  Good!  The song then shifts into a mid-paced rumbling heaviness with a blast in between these moments several times.  This start and stop section is killer.  The songs gets into the 90’s gallop, then a little faster then back to the mid-paced heaviness and start n stop blasting.  It’s fucking sick!!!

As if the album has not ripped your face off enough, the longest track, “Machines of Hate”, closes out the album.  This is a lyrical collaboration with Dave and I.  I wrote lyrics to this song last year and Dave used some of them.  My lyrics were inspired about the end of days and very apocalyptic in nature.  I incorporated all their – prior album names into the lyrics with some other parts Dave uses in the chorus parts, several times.  I am very humbled and honored he decided to use them and credit me in the liner notes. The music is bludgeoning, as it starts with a monster blast beat and quick mid-paced moments and some excellent guitar work.  At times melodic and at other times just reaching out from the album to slice your head right off so it can tumble down the hill.  Some more killer drumming from Eric, as he does a few little fills, which amount to a mini drum solo – the dude is talented and he can replicate the shit live – so that’s even better.

Suffer for Nothing is one of the best albums for 2020.  Morta Skuld know how to write excellent death metal which is still new, without forgetting their signature sound.  The songs are all catchy and memorable.  The first day I received the music – no joke, I listened to the album 5x.  90’s death metal is my fave time period for death metal and Morta Skuld were always the purveyors in the early 90’s.  I love all forms of metal and extreme death metal.  But the albums I go back to time and time again are the ones which are memorable, get stuck in my head and are well written.  That’s what Morta Skuld’s prior output does for me and add Suffer for Nothing to that list and their stellar discography.

Please pick-up the album, like their FB page and inquire about merchandise.  Once that’s available pick yourself up some Morta Skuld swag.  Get the album, or else that poor bastard, adorning the striking album cover, will pay you a visit – and he will not be wearing a mask.  Buy or Die!!!

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Frank Rini
October 20th, 2020


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