Now this is quite exciting. I’ve been looking forward to hearing something more from this band ever since their début EP The Abyss arrived in 2014 and floored me with its combination of death, black and classic metal.
Over the Dying Stars is their much-anticipated, (at least by me), début album that provides us with 43 minutes of new material. I’ll make no bones about it – they haven’t disappointed.
This is old-school death metal that takes elements of black metal and classic heavy metal into its dark embrace, wielding whatever weapons it needs to get the job done.
The bulk of the band’s output is ancient, atavistic death metal, and they successfully weave the heavy/black metal influences into this formidable core. Duelling guitars, solos and leads are all nods to their heavy metal heritage, while added screams and a darker shade to some of the guitars and blast beats pay homage to their blackened soul.
The songs are hefty and full of substantial content, with every section having a righteous place and effectively adding to the whole package. The riffs and melodies are deliciously judged, showing a band with a finely tuned perception of what constitutes quality metal songs.
Deep growls overlay the well-written music, making for songs that hit the spot in more ways than one. The album has an amazingly warm, analogue recording, (especially to the drums), and the entire thing sounds great. Everything can be heard clearly, even the oft-neglected bass.
These tracks have so much to offer anyone into extreme metal, especially if you’re into an older sound/style. This is not to imply that Morthus are in any way irrelevant to 2016’s musical landscape. In fact I’d say they’re pretty damn essential to it; the world needs more authentically honest extreme metal like this. Over the Dying Stars is definitely an album that is born out of an older past though, and it just goes to show how timeless metal really is.
Top quality, top band, top album. Essential for all old-school fanatics.