Carsten Otterbach (1970-2018)

My first memory of Morgoth is reading a lukewarm review of Cursed that said something like “the songs aren’t so much songs as compositions, like Mozart throwing around baby blocks — 3 stars.” That sounded right up my alley, so a few years later I bought Odium on cassette and I was hooked. The intensity of Marc Grewe’s vocal performance and clarity of the mix hit me first, but it was the guitar tones and strangeness of Carsten and Harald’s riffing kept me coming back again and again. Cursed and the other albums came later and while they’ll always be in Odium’s shadow for me (I consider it one of the top 10 death metal albums of all time), Morgoth’s entire catalog has been in steady rotation for years.

Needless to say, this one stings a bit. RIP, Carsten.

From Blabbermouth:

Founding MORGOTH member Carsten Otterbach has died after a long battle with multiple sclerosis. The 48-year-old guitarist, who also headed up his own artist management company Direct Management, played on the band’s first two EPs, “Resurrection Absurd” (1989) and “The Eternal Fall” (1990), as well as the first three full-length albums, “Cursed” (1991), “Odium” (1993) and “Feel Sorry For The Fanatic” (1996).

Century Media Records co-founder Robert Kampf:

“With a very heavy heart, I learned that a close friend of 28 years, Carsten Otterbach, has passed. Carsten had a decade long battle with MS (multiple sclerosis). While he was a trooper and battled it hard for a long time, it was one of those battles that eventually take you down. I will always remember Carsten as a very sharp-minded, well-read, business-savvy and, at the same time, very fun-loving, tolerant and simply great guy. He will always live in my heart. Carsten fought very hard for his artists and was honorable as it gets. Legendary are the fights between my late partner Oliver Withöft and Carsten. The two of them fighting was scary if you were in the room, but always a fun story afterwards. Both were good friends and, unfortunately, did not make it to age 50. Farewell, Carsten. You will not be forgotten and [will be] held in very high acclaim by your friends and by several generations of metal artist.”

Demolition Hammer guitarist Derek Sykes:

“Our first tour ever was in 1990 with OBITUARY and MORGOTH. Three young bands from three different cultures crammed together on a bus for two months exploring parts of the world we had only read about. We all formed a bond during those months that even decades later still remain in one form or another. That being said, we mourn the loss of Carsten Otterbach. So many great memories from those days and Carsten (along with Frank Watkins [OBITUARY] and, of course, Vinny Daze [DEMOLITION HAMMER]) were central figures in all of them. Rest in peace, brother, and our condolences to your friends and family.”