mortichnia – heir to scoria and ash (2016)

mortichnia is a good old 5-piece black metal band from ireland, which you don’t see every day. after keyboard-laden structures of most recent releases, the band’s debut heir to scoria and ash felt a good return to the guitar-led metal sound; the album is rich with riffing and variation. while the rhythm guitar is more down-tuned and sludgy, the (dso inspired) lead sounds more crisp and industrial-like. this results in a richer tone and a thicker sound, making it anything but boring. also reminiscent of so-called “post” black metal sound.

while the drum and bass sections are neat and deliciously audible, the vocals need proper attention. the high pitched, desperate shrieking sounds distant and low, making it blend in with the instruments, rather than obscuring them. this seems to be a pattern with the recent releases.

the songs are very well structured, cohesive and rich in material. while the first song is filled with furious energy, the 14-minute second track is more on the sad side. exploring the scope of human emotions is just another fine variation presented by the album. after a short and emotional interlude, the fourth track continues presenting the goods, with tons of rather gloomy and melancholic passages and variation. the closing track “heir” is difficult to explain by words; confusion, phantasmagoria, derange and delirium.

an overall kick-ass work and a fresh breath.

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