Morta Skuld
Through the Eyes of Death

Relapse has reissued some pretty good stuff over the last couple of years, namely the Death reissues as well as General Surgery, Convulse and Nirvana 2002, but along with a couple of the recent Dying Fetus reissues, this one is a bit of head scratcher.

For some reason Relapse Records has decided to dust off and remaster  the two 1990 demos Gory Departure and Prolong the Agony from Wisconsin’s Morta Skuld and re-release them along with an unreleased song (“Eternal Suffering”) and a cover of Metal Church‘s song of the same name. Now, my last exposure to Morta Skuld was 1997’s Surface, admittedly, not the bands strongest release, and a tame simplified, chug based release compared to the band’s earlier work. Regardless, even despite being one of the acts considered to start “mid Western death metal’, Morta Skuld‘s first three releases were hardly classic — lost under other bigger American acts like Obituary, Suffocation, Morbid Angel and Cannibal Corpse.

And there’s a good reason Morta Skuld weren’t bigger. Their early sound is  a second rate concoction of the above mentioned acts, namely Obituary, with a dash of thrash metal. It’s the same reason Accidental Suicide (whom the song “Prolong the Agony” really imbues) and Eternal Suffering weren’t more than slightly revered side bars or oddities in US death metal history. There were just bigger, better options available in the ’90s and everything else sounded like a copycat.

Not that anything here is terrible. It’s good solid old school American death metal with a nice simple, burly pace, tone and typically ’90s B-movie themes. You can hear the heavier, early Death and Obituary (especially vocally) influence in the earlier material (tell me the start to “Sacrificial Rite” wasn’t lifted directly from “Internal Bleeding”). It’s less groove based than Surface and full of more primal, earthy, and honest riffage with that ’90s production as well as some typically bad ’90s samples (“Intro”, ‘Through the Eyes of Death”, “..Of Evil”). All of it perfectly listenable and enjoyable, even more so in today’s processed death metal climate but none of it is what I would consider essential. The only song that seems to really stand out is “Eternal Suffering”, but again it’s due to the much heavier Obituary, crawling oozing tone.

Through the Eyes of Death is hardly a necessary reissue, but one that collectors might enjoy.

However, with all of the old obscure death metal albums being reissued, how about someone reissues Desecrator‘s Subconscious Release from 1991? Vinyl only release, full of classic UK death metal that actually needs and deserves to be rediscovered?


[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
December 1st, 2011


  1. Commented by: Mosh Tuneage

    Your wish is our command :-)

    DESECRATOR – Subconscious Release CD reissue, in conjunction with RKT records and the band themselves due out in August – contains the bands 4 song demo from 1992 as well as the original album!

  2. Commented by: E. Thomas

    awesome news!!!!!

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