Released: 2013, Metal Blade Records
Reviewer: Peter Atkinson
With a definite flair for the dramatic, and a taste for the blasphemous, Finland's Gloria Morti turn in a masterful symphonic blackened death metal mashup with their fourth album, and first with Metal Blade. Lateral Constraint is a bold, furiously paced effort that matches grandiosity with aggression and technicality, recalling such contemporaries as Septicflesh, Fleshgod Apocalypse or Keep of Kalessin along the way.
The real star here is drummer Kauko Kuusisalo, who works himself into quite a lather alternating between blast-beat and Gatling-gun double-bass-driven tempos, all while spitting out fills that make it seem like he's got three arms. Amazing. Guitarists Eero Silvonen and Juho Räihä saw away with equal fervor, moving effortlessly between the shrill black metal tremolo of “Our God Is War” and “Hallucinations” or the more complex grind of “Non-Believer,” “Slaves” or “The First Act.”
There aren't many breaks in the action here – hooky asides or sweeping melodic passages and the like. There's the acoustic intro to “Sleep, Kill, Regress, Follow” and some harmonized guitar soloing, other than that it's pretty much pedal to the metal, with frontman Psycho living up to his name breathless shouting along over the top – and sounding a bit like Randy Blythe meets Oderus Urungus as he does. Seriously!
Like Keep of Kalessin, Gloria Morti make liberal use of keyboards/synths as a background element, employing them to add depth and bigness to their sound, while being careful to not seem overblown or needlessly theatrical. The effect is brutality with a sense of grace or elegance, especially with the rich, crystalline production on Lateral Constraint. Brilliant stuff.