Released: 2014, Century Media Records
Reviewer: Metal-Rules.com UK Team
Sweden’s original and quirky death metallers have been trailing along for seven years now, but their Century Media debut has only just arrived. There’s a huge wave of bands currently in existence playing death metal in the old style, reeking and zombified with no unnecessary technical clarity or wankery, but as many would have guessed from the artwork of debut album Sleeper’s in the Rift, this band is not one to follow trends or throwbacks. There are touches of Autopsy and Obituary to be found, there’s no doubting that, but what Morbus Chron offers is a breath of fresh air in the often stagnating death metal scene.
First track “Berceuse” drowns the listener in a thick bog of mystique and uncertainty with it’s chorus laden clean guitar work and sinister overtones. As drums slowly sludge in the atmosphere is only glooped up to choking point. This continues with “Chains” still experimental and intriguing, as the distorted guitars are introduced and chromatic riffs bring home more of what we heard on their debut. Never before have Edvin’s vocals sounded more desperate or ghastly, and the reverb used as decoration just increases their presence and their chilling effect.
“Towards a Dark Sky” demonstrates the more progressive side of the four piece, with an acoustic intro and ever evolving guitar riffs; death metal has never been this original.
The place is slowed again with “It Sleeps in the Hollow” and it’s eerie harmonised clean guitars. A reoccuring creepy musical ostinato/theme makes this the most memorable track of all ten. Unfortunately clocking in at just eight minutes short of an hour things start to become tiresome and hard work by “The Perennial Link” which is struggling to cough up anything that hasn’t been offered by previous tracks.
With this level of experimentality and artistic creativity, Sweven just may well be the album that takes the career of Morbus Chron into new levels, but I feel that if only the album wasn’t weighed down by two or three tracks to many, it would only be even better, and far more exciting to come back to for repeated listen after repeated listen. Fan’s of Sleepers in the Rift are in for a big change, but it’s a change I’m sure will be welcomed by the majority of opened minded music fans.
Review by Jarod Lawley