If you told me that Stabbing Westward, an Industrial Rock band originally from Chicago, would reenter my life twenty years after they first impacted it, I would not have believed you. Yet after all this time, I am listening to their first new studio album since 2001, Chasing Ghosts (COP International), and my world has been changed again. After devouring their most recent EP release Dead And Gone (COP International), fans were hungry for more and I was certainly no exception. Original founding members Christopher Hall and Walter Flakus have retained their signature style and newer members Carlton Bost and Bobby Amaro have brought so much richness to the sound.
Long-running Death Metal band Morgoth has announced they are permanently breaking up. The band had formed in 1985 as Exterminator and operated from 1987-1998 and then reunited in 2010. The band went on hiatus again in 2015, and at the time hinted that they might return. The band posted to their official Facebook page, to bring the news to fans. Their last album was Ungod in 2015, released on Century Media Records.
Another day, another reunion. For the unaware, German quintet Morgoth created a reasonable buzz back in the early 90s with the solid if unspectacular duo of Cursed and Odium. Then they went and spoiled it all by doing something stupid like releasing Feel Sorry for the Fanatic, a bizarre jaunt into experimental electronic territory which appalled fans and led to the band breaking up in 1998. However, like so many others they have returned from the grave and Ungod (all Century Media Records) is the fruit of their labours. Is it worth it?
On first impressions, the answer is a baffled “No!” as the naked Obituary rip-off of ‘House of Blood’ comes lumbering out of the speakers. New vocalist Karsten ‘Jagger’ Jäger sounds so much like John Tardy you’ll be wondering if there’s been a mistake at the pressing plant. Thankfully things improve on the catchy mid-paced ‘Voice of Slumber’ which makes good use of those morose yet subtle melodies that were just enough to give Morgoth their own identity back in the day. Further tracks such as the measured riffing and familiar satanic lyrics of ‘Snakestate’ and the more aggressive attack of ‘Descent into Hell’ are pretty much exactly what the doctor ordered; middle of the road, no-frills death metal that sounds exactly like it was recorded in Florida circa 1993.
Honestly, were you expecting anything different? It’s hardly surprising that Morgoth have retreated to their classic sound (comfort zone) after such a disastrous backfire all those years ago, and they certainly know how to pen a decent death metal tune. However, like Massacre’s comeback record last year which shamelessly traded on former glories, Morgoth seem to think that just turning up and acting like nothing’s changed will be enough. Unfortunately the world of extreme metal is a far more diverse, cut-throat entity than it was in their heyday and it’s difficult to see them standing out from the herd this time round.
German death metal outfit Morgoth are back! God Is Evil (Century Media) is their first new music since 1996’s Feel Sorry for the Fanatic (Century Media), but for now they’re only providing a small taster of what is to come. The single contains two tracks from the forthcoming UnGod album, due next year.
Reminiscent of Death at their best, the title track is a technical number filled with plenty of time and style changes. Marc Grewe’s bark sounds as strong as ever, his pained screams adding to the sinister feel. ‘Die as Deceiver’ is more of a simple mid-tempo head-banger, not as intricate but no less enjoyable thanks to its infectious groove.
It may have been a long wait, but Morgoth have conjured up a great comeback single. If the band can keep quality to this level the full album should be a belter.