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Minus Morgul is a massive improvement over their last album Lugburz. For this one they dropped the black metal structure which I thought made Lugburz kind of a bland album. This time around they use more synths, richer melodies, and a drum program where as to using an actual drumming like on Lugburz.
The main difference in this one I found was how all the songs don’t follow the traditional black metal song layout. On the last album every song had the same basic guitar riff and shriek vocals. This time they use more synths and keyboard in every song. Even though they use the black metal style riffs in the songs, they have a lighter and happier melody to them, which improves to the medieval atmosphere, which is what this band is based off of.
They also use a drum program instead of an actual drummer. I thought the drumming was decent on the first LP. The drum program also does an ok job I thought. The only problem with the drum programs is that some songs you can tell that it’s a program and not a real drummer, which was about half the songs one here, one including “Orthanc” which is just nothing but drumming and keyboards. Hearing the fake sounding drums kind of makes it hard to get into the picture of the music and decreases the atmospheric moments.
They use a lot more keyboards in this one. The first album you didn’t really know if they were there outside of the opening track. This time they use them in every song, and they make every song stand out more. It makes every song sound like they are unique and they all stand out more compared to the first album which was nothing more than standard black metal. Also, the keyboards add a lot more atmosphere to the music. They build an epic medieval feeling in you. Unfortunately, the drum program kind of ruins it and pulls you out of the epic sounding atmosphere. Still the atmosphere is a huge improvement over the first album due to the fact that the first album didn’t really have much atmosphere, if any at all.
I enjoyed this album a lot. It’s better than the first album, but they don’t quite have the atmosphere part yet. It’s just not as good compared to their other later albums. Still, this is an album that fans of Summoning or atmospheric music should check out.