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The early releases of this Finnish outfit are extremely raw, filled with depressive riffs. On the later works of the band the production values are raised to an extent and the music suffers from it. Let's see how this album is the end of an old era.
As I mentioned earlier, the production is raw here like on the debut and the EPs in between, this being the last one to feature such anti-production. The atmosphere perfectly fits some of the tracks but not all of them. The vocals are less in the foreground as they used to be and the mix is dominated by the guitars. The drumming is good but serves no specific functions. Low frequencies are almost nonexistent (even with a subwoofer) but this isn't as much of a problem.
All tracks were written by Lord Sagrofagian, half of them being decent while the rest are enjoyable but also forgettable. The first track starts with an awesome riff bearing powerful emotions, the song also has some clean vocals strengthening the atmosphere further. The album has memorable riffs all over the album, the next one being the chorus of "The Worshipper". The next song (Names of the Dead Souls) also has its moments, actually many of them are pure gold, making this one of the blackened stars of this release. The title track is overly religious. Its start might be not as great as others but the song builds up as the listener continues their journey in it. After a slower section chants for Satan can be heard and after more riffs you will understand why this song is played live. Enjoyment of this release increases exponentially as the track finishes and you're wondering if it can be any better after this. It can. The finishing masterpiece titled "The Path of New Era" has the best main riff I've ever heard in any guitar-based music. The other sections of this track are also really good and create a great composition altogether. You can find no mistakes here, this track is perfect, although the second part with the slow guitars might seem as unnecessary and have been better as a separate outro but that's just a minor thing.
Unless you're a big fan of Baptism this is the last release worth getting. Not as consistent as the debut album but the highlights easily out shine the mediocre parts. If you like raw (and depressive) black metal with a strong Satanic message, then there's no reason why you should miss this album.
No matter how much it pains me to say this, "MORBID WINGS OF SATHANAS" is, in my eyes, a step backwards for BAPTISM. I do like it as an album, but there are a few points to criticize, mainly the drop in inspiration and the rather amusing cover.
First things first. Let's begin with the cover, which is obviously the primary thing one looks at. It has the same black, grey and white colors that are found on all BAPTISM releases. However, it depicts a so-called demon that looks more like a ram with wings. There's nothing evil or dark about it all, I cannot help shaking my head whenever i look at it. In truth, I don't really like it. Of course, it does not affect my opinion of "MORBID WINGS..." as much as the music itself. So what about the songs? Well, although it is clearly the same kind of music BAPTISM have always played, i.e melodic yet gloomy, I feel that Lord Sarcofagian might not have gone through the most inspired period of his life prior to the release of this opus. The tracks are mostly mid-paced, with more slow passages than fast ones. This is a minus by my book. Additionally, there are too few stand-out melodies, which echo in your mind once the CD/LP has stopped playing. Considering it's a BAPTISM album, this unfortunately forces me to rate it lower than the other ones, as it does not thrill me as much as those.
As the title of this review states, "MORBID WINGS..." represents a decline in Lord sarcofagian's ideas. Nothing tragic, just not enough to allow this album to equal BAPTISM's other releases. No worries though, the band is back on track now with their 2006 MLP, and any slip-ups found on "MORBID WINGS..." do not prevent the band from being high above the ordinary rubbish we find in today's scene!