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Morkesagn - Where the Darkness Never Ends

Where the Darkness Never Ends
by Danny Sanderson at 16 May 2016, 12:56 PM

Opting to release a full length record rather than an EP or Demo is a very bold move for a band that are on the verge of putting out their first release. The amount of effort and creative focus that has to go into something this lengthy right off the bat is something that many bands wait for some time to approach. MORKESAGN are one of the few bands that have chosen this kind of bold move for their debut release, "Where The Darkness Never Ends". This risk has paid off, however, because this record is an incredibly solid, powerful piece of vicious and intense Black Metal.

The song that opens this record, "Dungeons", is a really lengthy, borderline monolithic song, which opens on some really haunting clean guitar lines that are peppered liberally with plenty of melodic flourishes. This quickly subsides, and the bulk of the track is an incredibly tight, bestial slab of Black Metal. It has solid, punishing drums, speed-driven, eclectic guitar hooks and a wide variety of great vocal styles, from fierce shrieks, to sonorous, booming clean chants. The band aren't afraid to generously imbue their music with different hooks, musical approaches and tones, which helps make this track as interesting and engrossing as possible over its eight and a half minute span. "Heart of Darkness" is a much more primal and eerie affair, with plenty of dissonant chords in amongst the sweet guitar leads, slowly building momentum until it becomes a chaotic, cacophonous and ultimately catchy piece of music. As with the previous track, there's plenty of melody, and a polished, crisp production that really brings some of the finer points of the music to the fore of the sound for the listeners appreciation. "Heart of Poison" is a much more measured and steadily paced track, with confident guitar lines and prominent, pulsing bass sections creating a strong foundation for the bulk of the song. The vocals carve through the mix with a sharp, acidic rasp, contrasting the dense sound of the music on this song. There's some very powerful, tremolo picked sections on this track as well, which, although used sparingly, work incredibly well when they are utilised.

The third and final part of the "Heart" trilogy is "Heart of Flame", is every bit as fierce and ferocious as the two preceding tracks. The drumming is really driven and authoritative, the guitar lines are precise and razor sharp, and the vocals are, as they have been up until this point, excellent. There's plenty of killer, melodic tinges in this song as well, which hooks the listeners attention throughout. The difference between this particular track and the one that follows it, "Temple", is practically night and day. Whereas the former is far more aggressive and intense in its approach, the latter makes great use of cleaner tones, melody inflected guitar trills and a much more accessible musical approach. The track is nonetheless every bit as dark and harsh as you would want a great Black Metal track to be, but it has more measured and catchy feel to it, especially when it comes to the guitar instrumentation on offer here, that is sure to make this song appealing to both fans of the genres grimmer side, and fans of the other, more infectious and hook-laden side of Black Metal. The albums penultimate offering, "Frost", is a confidently performed, mid-paced affair with an epic quality to it. It's yet another great track, and although it is one of this records shorter tracks, it certainly leaves an indelible impression on the overall sound and aura of the record, leading perfectly into the final track, the short, sharp shock of "Throne of Doom"; at just under three in length, this is a very brief piece of music, but it is imbued with a dark, eerie sound, monstrous, rhythmic arrangements and dense, treble heavy guitar sections. It's a great piece of instrumental music, which doesn't feel like the albums closing effort. Rather, it's very climactic, and feels like it could be building up to another song. This means that, as the final notes begin to fade away, it leaves the listener eager for more music, rather than feeling like this is the culmination of the album.

The bold gamble of releasing a full length right off the bat has definitely paid off for this band. Everything on this record, from the music and the atmosphere right down to the production, sounds amazing. A few of the songs went on slightly longer than they necessarily needed to, but this is a minor criticism. This is a really solid, catchy and impressive piece of Black Metal, and it has set a very lofty bar for the band to overcome on their next few releases. It will be really interesting to see what this band follows this record with; if nothing else, it's sure to be another powerful and monumental affair.

4 Star Rating

1. Dungeons
2. Heart of Darkness
3. heart of Poison
4. Heart of Flame
5. Temple
6. Frost
7. Throne of Doom
Heydvald- Bass
Heisenbeard- Drums
Farn- Guitars, Backing Vocals
Ekvil- Vocals, Guitars
Record Label: Independent


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Edited 06 February 2023

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