Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Execration: Morbid Dimensions (2014)

No Zombies

Execration is the act of condemning something, declaring it evil. But more importantly, it's an obscure word that sounds vaguely evil even if you didn't know that, and the cover art to the Norwegian band's Morbid Dimensions looks like something from an underground black metal band--the kind that has too much creativity to be contained in only the colors black and white. So we can figure out a couple of things from that alone.

But surprisingly, this turns out to be a death metal album. Raw and evil-sounding death metal, to be precise. But just as unorthodox as the colorful album art--lacking any zombies or graveyards--would suggest.

I can explain it best by talking about it in two levels. At one level, they sound like Autopsy. There is an ugly, straightforward death metal core that's clearly allied with the old-school of death. The hoarse vocals and mostly mid-paced tempos make me think Autopsy, but you could fill in that blank with anything you wish.

The second level is what makes Execration unorthodox. Blended seamlessly with their death metal core is a layer of modern underground black metal, somewhere in the vein of Inquisition. Tremolo riffs here and there are one part, but the more prevalent manifestation of that is in nearly every riff. They start with seemingly traditional death riffs, but punctuate them with dissonant chords pulled from black metal.

It's cool, and it has enough variety (including tempos) to keep it mostly interesting for the run of the album. But unfortunately, it lacks something special (more memorable tunes or a more compelling atmosphere) to fully justify its hour-long run. Ideally the six-to-eight minute songs should have been trimmed to really bring out the chaos.

The Verdict: 3.5 out of 5 stars

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