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Grinding the bastard deities to death - 70%

Lane, April 15th, 2019
Written based on this version: 2009, CD, Sentinel Records

Irish death metallers Morphosis started in 1992, morphing from the band called Asphyxia, who also played death metal. They recorded five demo tapes under these two monickers in 1990s, and then quit in 1996.

But Morphosis came back... They reformed after a decade, put this out in 2009, and called it a day, again, in 2011. This sole album of theirs includes five reworked songs from the demos era, but still there is no post-this or post-that elements, or anything modernized.

From the get-go the band played early style death metal with grindcore inclination. The riffs can be very fast and violent, depicting real-life brutality (be it streetwise or from a killer's mind; grindcore and goredeath going hand in hand, methinks), that are heard right from the beginning of the album, but there are also slow ominous, really evil-sounding ones stretching out of the threshold to some baleful dimension (the title track and 'Crown of Thorns' are perfect examples of the latter). Open-string playing is present, too, and when it happens, it's Immolation style "melody" construction with unholy-spirited string bending. The guitar tone is dirty yet sharp, but the solos sound clearer.

The vocals are multifaceted, ranging from low-ish barking grunting to more shrieky grunt. And these often happen together, like with Carcass, Napalm Death or Dying Fetus, for example. They are powerful enough, as well as violent and ugly. The lyrics are mostly anti-religious, but also carry other topic such as divination and dark sides of a human mind.

The drumming is often totally fast firing, varying from blast beats to hastened punk beats, and to slow atmosphere-building playing, of course not forgetting double kick drum assaults. For a big part, the music is rapid, but the band can slow things a bit to mid-paced or slower, and it works for their favour. The busy bass guitar is rumbling and distorted.

The production job is loud. Rumbling lower frequencies and buzzing cymbals and other high frequencies almost cause crackling. It is somewhat chaotic yet still the elements are all audible and distinguishable. It can get grating when listened loud, but hey, it's brutal music anyway, and no pop music properties apply. And no triggering was utilized, I suppose.

'Rise of the Bastard Deities' gives a good beating. It sincerely can be recommended for fans of both death metal and grindcore; those who enjoy Napalm Death's more death metal releases such as 1990's 'Harmony Corruption' and 1992's 'Utopia Banished', Swedes Vomitory, Morphosis's countrymen Abaddon Incarnate and evil death metal à la Immolation are potent target audience.

(Originally written for