Moros – Weapon

An effects-heavy floor tom pounds and reverberates sinisterly sounding like an unholy sub drop as a layer of distortion grows from the aether. Various squalls of feedback and twisted auditory hallucinations wrap their way around the percussion making ‘(vortexwound)’ a fittingly unsettling opening to Weapon (Hidden Deity). This segues into the first track proper, ‘We Don’t Deserve Death’, a creeping, sanguine number that evolves into a Rock paced rager. The instrumentation is crisp and bass heavy, perfect for the Sludge/Doom hybrid Moros are seeking to evoke.

The production of this album is spot on; there’s enough grime to the guitar tone to make it feel authentically played, but cleanliness to the delivery that means the notation isn’t lost in a wall of noise. The percussion is relatively understated on the album, with the fills and flourishes often failing to make their way to the foreground. Tonally the drums have the same rattling charm to them of Bill Ward’s on the early Black Sabbath material, though they are far more cleanly produced than on, say, Paranoid (Vertigo/Warner Bros.).

The album is conceived through a Death Metal lens, bringing an edge to the sludgy, doom-laden textures of musicality. ‘Devil Worshipper’ is complete with blast beats and high velocity playing that would more than satisfy any Death Metal fan, while the imposing grind of ‘Death Nebula’ will scratch the same itch. The separation from Death Metal comes through the vocal performance which strays far closer to Black Metal. There’s a reminiscence of Ghost Bath in the harrowing, seemingly pitchless shrieking Jason Dost and John Hauser utilise, and it does make the record that little but more unsettling.

Unfortunately, the record only remains a little unsettling. This is perhaps problematic as, given the blend of genres used for this ambitious material, there should be a sense of terror to the music. There’s no feeling of violence to the Death Metal, the blackened portions don’t feel icy or infernal, and the Doom doesn’t quite reach the depressing depths that it should. The band does however excel in their Sludge mastery, making their sound feel filthy despite a crystalline production job.

Weapon is far from perfect. It is an album that overreaches in its attempts to fuse together various Metal subgenres, but falls admirably. There is a great deal of potential on display and more attention afforded to song-craft would be a great boon to the trio. They have an almighty sound, wonderful production and they can slay Sludge, so there’s a lot going for them.

6 / 10