One of the newer and better bands to join the legions of old-school death metal worshippers is Morbidity, a 5-piece group from Bangladesh. One listen to “Revealed From Ashes” would make you think they’re actually from Tampa, Florida, as this band is among the most authentic sounding retro act around. In fact, when it comes to this style of death metal, Morbidity does pretty much everything perfect. At less than 30 minutes, this is a succinct representation of some of the best music this genre has to offer.
After opening with an ominous clean guitar intro, the band wastes no time bursting into a speedy riff on “Incarnation of Death”. Immediately following this neck-snapping riff is a section where the band puts forth an incredible groove. Both of these two moments reveal how well Morbidity has mastered death metal. They understand groove perfectly because it is incorporated into parts of songs without the groove elements taking over those songs. This means that most of the album is played at exceptional speeds, with the occasional break for slower windmill headbanging. The production only furthers how great the record is. The guitar tone is crunchy, and the leads (which appear more often than one might expect) are completely decipherable. The drumming is crushing; the snare is like a jackhammer to the head, while the bass drums are pummeling, particularly when the band slows into those Bolt Thrower-like grooves. Morbidity’s singer combines the ghastly approach of “Altars of Madness”-era David Vincent with the more brutal sound of someone like Glen Benton. Guitar solos frequent this album quite a bit and show plenty of virtuosity, but still retain the evil feeling that permeates the entire album. In that sense they aren’t totally aping Trey Azagthoth, but there is no doubt a clear influence.
“Revealed From Ashes” rides a surprisingly thin line in death metal between memorable songwriting and monotonous playing. On the one hand, these songs aren’t quite like a lot of the bands playing in the late 80’s where songs had obvious choruses, song structures, or memorable moments. On the other, the riffs and production on this album are so good that a few listens will definitely make it clear the differences between the songs. You might have to work a bit harder than you did to learn Death’s “Leprosy”, for example, but this album has a lot to offer if you listen closely. One way in which the band makes their sound interesting is by incorporating foreboding leads atop their riffs, particularly in some of the slower sections. The band also mixes it up beyond just alternating between groove and speed. “Pits of Eternal Torment” is a song that takes much more influence from punk than the rest. “Skullcrusher” also stands out because, true to its name, the mid-paced tempo of most of this song is absolutely bludgeoning to the skull. The title track, placed at the end of the album, brings back the clean guitars that opened the record to provide a truly full experience, but only after delivering an endless legion of great riffs.
Overall, “Revealed From Ashes” is a top-tier death metal release in 2014. It would even be a top-tier death metal album in 1994. This album has captured the quintessential elements of early death metal, and does so much more convincingly than many of their peers. Perhaps it is also my bias against the Incantation and Swedeath worship of today, but the sound that Morbidity is influenced by has always been my favourite style of death metal, so it is easy to see why this album is so compelling to me. This album is highly recommended to fans of anything brutal!
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"Incarnation of Death"
"Let There Be Chaos"
4.5/5 or 90%.
Written by Scott