Reviewed: March 2021
Released: 2021, Ghost Sound Media
Reviewer: Kira Levine
Returning with their fourth full-length In Turbulence, Morrigu are a Swiss metal band founded in 1999 by Mirko and Severin Bunder (ex-Eluveitie). Starting out as a doom/death metal outfit, they have forged a more melodic and progressive sound in recent times. Four years in the making, this album marks the first time they have not used drum samples on a recording, employing the help of renowned drummer Adrian Erlandsson (At The Gates, The Haunted etc.) on this release. Versatile vocalist Elektra Amber (who has also recently collaborated with Nightland) can be heard as a guest on couple of songs. Mastered by Jens Bogren, In Turbulence is set for release on the 23rd of April.
First up is “Our World Collides,” which sees the musicians firing on all cylinders. Clean vocals combined with harsher delivery add the right amount of light and darkness to first offering, a balance that works well when it is utilised during the rest of the the album. The emotion in Severin’s vocals is amplified by the instrumentation, especially when his softer singing approach is heard with the strings.
The songs before “Eternal Darkness” feel a little more successful vocally speaking, with the addition of varied styles creating an intriguing contrast in both instances. The rhythm section is particularly strong here, Adrian and Mirko working in tandem brilliantly. Much like “In The Shade”, there is a break from the screams on the vocal front towards the end of track three, but it does seem less attention-grabbing this time around. Musically, the song reflects the title well enough.
“Crowned From Your Fear” seems to draw its power from its instrumental side, leading with an infectious intro with an impactful sound from beginning to end. Of the few songs that only employ harsh vocals, this one feels like the most hard-hitting.
“Blinded By The Artificial Light” is full of soaring clean vocals, and although a more abrasive style is present, the passionate melodic delivery of the lyrics towards the end is definitely one of the highlights in the last half of the album.
Female guest vocals provided by Elektra Amber pair nicely with some atmospheric keys that at times do well to amplify her emotional voice. The growls work much better in this duet with Elektra than where the guitarist-vocalist delivers the lyrics alone, the harshness balanced out nicely with the her dulcet tones.
“The King Of Thieves” sees Morrigu take both a heavier and more atmospheric approach, making the best use of opposing music styles. In terms of memorability, it might suffer due to being sandwiched between two distinctive songs (“Omnia” and “A Funeral Of Liberty”).
With an identical running time to the track before it, “A Funeral Of Liberty” sees the return of Elektra sounding like an ethereal siren as she counters Severin’s harsh vocals in quite a different way than before.
A confident, captivating performance from Morrigu, greatly boosted by the drumming and vocal contributions of Adrian and Elektra, respectfully. Hopefully In Turbulence is a taste of even better things to come from the Switzerland-based band.