Moss upon the Skull – The Scourge of Ages (Review)

Moss upon the SkullMoss upon the Skull are a death metal band from Belgium and this is their debut EP.

This is atypical progressive death metal. This is the type of band that are great to hear.

Rather than sticking to the standard genre tropes, they have decided to play death metal their own way on their own terms.

Taking elements from progressive rock, classic metal, and dissonant death metal, the music on this brief EP is unorthodox, organic-feeling, and sounds like it has been grown and nurtured rather than meticulously written.

The songs have some interesting structures, ideas and riffs. I like that the bass frequently plays a prominent role too. In addition to the heavier, uglier side of things that you’d expect from death metal of any kind, I also like some of the progressive atmospheres that the band create. They seem quite adept at fostering emotive moods, and these parts of the songs are some of the best bits.

Even the heavier sections that in some ways are more straightforward are non-standard and unorthodox too. Normally when such a description is applied to a band it means things like zany, chaotic, jazzy, etc. Here, though, it’s just due to the inventive creativity that the band have. Rather than go for the more obvious riffs and compositions, they’ve decided to do things just a little differently. Even the faster sections with blast beats, when they appear, are played unusually, but very agreeably.

Growled vocals form the main delivery, but other styles appear here and there, (some backing cleans on Cursed Crown, for example, and some Celtic Frost-isms and lead clean singing on Turiyan Wrath).

If I had to compare with other bands…loosely, I’d say a mix of Death, Cynic, Obscura, Gorguts, and Execration. Moss upon the Skull are very much their own band though, and The Scourge of Ages is very, very good.

Very highly recommended.

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