You know how things can stay the same and sometimes it’s a good thing? When it comes to death metal, that is quite often how I preffer things. Traditional, cemetary dwelling, chainsawbuzzing death metal that have not made a lot of efffertos to become “trendy”, or find “new expressions”. There are of course exceptions to this rule – the new TRIBULATION album is excellent, but then again…. it is probably not something that can be labled as “death metal” anymore – but usually it tends to be the albums that stand their ground and delivers something that just have not changed very much. It’s like you would not like to see BOLT THROWER start experimenting with prog, as that would try to be fixing something that is not broken.
With Germanys MORGOTH, things are staying the same – and very much not at the same time. “Ungod” is the first album since the bands glory days in the beginning of the 90’s, and as the band ended that glory day streak with the somewhat experimental “Feel Sorry For The Fanatic” (-96) after the traditional death metal albums “Cursed” and “Odium” (-91 and -93 respectively) this return to form can only be described as completing the full circle.
Yes, it’s been almost 20 years since the last album. Yes, this is a return to the original sound. The classic death metal sound. So things have changed a lot, so much that they are actually right back at where they started. And that, as the rather long intro to this review explained, as something good in my opinion.
Most remarkable is probably the change of chief growler, from Marc Grewe to Karsten Jäger, but also the addition of Marc “Speedy” Reign on drums, altogether providing the band with a solid punch. Harald Busse and Sebastian Swart handle giutars, and Sotirios Kelikedis bass, and the music these five gentelemen produce can be descirbed quite easily: it is mid tempo death metal that worships the riff. Songs like House Of Blood, Snakestate, Descent Into Hell and Traitor stand out a bit, but not by a lot as this is really an album. It have few weak points, and a… solid feel, for lack of a better word.
I recieved the promo some weeks ago, and have been listening to sporadically ever since, especially when doing something monotone (training, doing dishes..), and it fits very well to such occasions. A few weeks back, I went to Germany to visit some relatives and as always when I am there, I try to pick up some German music. MORGOTH was a given purchase (…together with other gems such as DER WEG EINER FREIHEIT and SERIOUS BLACK), and with the physical actual record in my hand, the listening was intensified and enhanced. At the end of the day, this is a good record that is well worth the time and money, and if you are in to traditional death metal in mid-tempo I definately think you should look into it!
MORGOTH “Ungod” = 3/5. Good. Worth both the time and the money.