MORGION - God of Death & Disease (DARK DESCENT - CD 2012)
Most of the doom / death metal fans should know Morgion, because this band released three very good albums, which all got quite good response from the press and listeners. But Morgion split up several years ago and the last album they did (“Cloaked by Ages, Crowned in Earth”) was released in 2004, so nowadays they may be less and less remembered and surely many younger fans will have no idea who Morgion were. Why not start introducing yourself to them then with this very nice compilation CD, which Dark Descent Records released few years back? It’s titled “God of Death & Disease” and generally it contains all the material, which Morgion recorded before the release of debut album “Among Majestic Ruin” in 1997. So we have here “Rabid Decay” (1991, demo), rehearsal recordings from 1992 and “Travesty” EP from 1993. I didn’t know any of these materials in their original versions, so such CDs are a great opportunity to listen to some new, unknown shit.
I have to admit that “Rabid Decay” demo was not able to impress me and with all honesty, I can only say that it’s pretty mediocre and almost forgettable effort. Not only it suffers from rather weak production (especially in song “Encased in Glass”, where it all sounds like dubbed from old, used cassette), but the songwriting is also far from spectacular. The song I just mentioned, “Encased in Glass”, is particularly boring and dull. “Rabid Decay” generally sounds more like typical death metal demo, with just few doomy fragments here and there, like in “Intro / Drowning in Sorrow”, which is a fine opening instrumental track. Such “In the Process” and “Gothic Decorum” also sounds like decent primeval death metal demo songs, I have to say that I like some of these riffs, arrangements and Jeremy R. Peto vocals. This demo isn’t bad, but it’s just far from being sensational or whatever. Mind that stylistically it differs hugely from the albums, which Morgion did few years later.
Next up “God of Death & Disease” features an unreleased (I think so) material, which was recorded during rehearsal in 1992. Well, I have to say that if it really is a rehearsal recording, then it sounds unbelievably good. The sound is even better than on “Rabid Decay” demo, it’s very brutal and heavy, so I like it a lot! Anyway, these four songs follow the style from the demo, but definitely these songs are better. The band still sounds more like a typical rough death metal, with doomy parts present rather spontaneously, so the music is quite brutal and sometimes even fast. Songs like “Chasm” or “What Dwells upon Man” are fantastic and I dare to say that it’s one of my favourite Morgion recordings. The first one is more like straight up death metal, while the latter contains many doomy parts, what makes it sound unbelievably heavy and gloomy. Oh boy, I really like it a lot. It’s very well executed, I can yet again find here many killer riffs and arrangements and generally even if it seems like this material wasn’t officially released back in the 90’s, I can consider it as one of the better US death metal demos from 1992.
Finally a rare “Travesty” 7”EP completes “God of Death & Disease” in excellent way. Only two, but very good songs are here, which yet again show a step forward for the band. It’s awesome death / doom metal, very brutal, harsh, but with some great melodic sections like in “Wither the Storm”, what sometimes give Morgion a style, which slightly resembles me the Swedish death metal and bands like Eternal Darkness. “Wither the Storm” is better of these two songs but all in all “Travesty” sounds like a killer EP and it’s a shame that I never had a chance to grab the original version of it. Generally though I have to say that Morgion was great band, their early recordings may sound different to the full length albums, but this compilation should be a nice item for collection and if you dig all those old death metal demos then you should give it a listen.
Final rate: 75/100