Morthra – Alteration of Faith / Birth of Damnation

Oh, how I have regressed. Since we last spoke I have pretty much given up on anything you would probably like. I could care no less for what Metal Blade released this week or for a new Dark Tranquillity record. I have dove (dived? diven?) back into the past. I like terrible sounds and pretty pictures. I like DEATH METAL that sounds like (or actually was) recorded on an analog four track in some Swede’s garage or basement. I want to hear a band sound exactly how they’d sound if I was standing there. I want to smell cigarette smoke and get lost in the fog-machine haze of 1993. With that said:

MORTHRA. Crushing Dutch death metal of death. Recorded two demos in 1991 and 1993. Good luck finding them. Pretty on par with Asphyx (then, not now) and dirty yet audible enough for you pro-toolers (is that even cool anymore? What do you use, Mux?); first demo “Alteration of Faith” is the dirtier/deathlier of the two, all static laden tape-hiss be damned. Your standard death metal fare of the year, yet real. Organic. FUCKING DEATH METAL. “Magnification” has that staccato stomp that gets the hair all whipping and beer spilled and horns thrown. “Birth of Damnation” is a bit more dreary and dreamy, the production is a little more warped and sloooow. All doomy and shit. Less Asphyx, more My Dying Bride but not all queer (I like MDB, I keed).

Basically this band was four joe-blows making evil, dreary music the way we only wish we could now. They could have been anyone… any number of the Cannibal Corpse or Suffocation clones of the early ’90s. But these guys had better taste. A snippet of a time long lost.


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