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Morphide – Anhedonia Award winner

by Thomas Kumke at 26 September 2022, 5:36 AM

MORPHIDE are originally from Latvia and live currently in Denmark. The duo play a mix of alternative and progressive Metal and “Anhedonia” is their debut album. The album covers in principle the songs that were written during the last three years. It was mixed and mastered by Myroslav Borys-Smith at Jigsaw Audio. The album has a length of about 40 minutes and it is an independent release.

The album starts powerful with heavy guitar riffing at mid-tempo and the vocals are a mix of growls and cleans, where the growling vocals are between the medium and higher end of the guttural range. The riffing has a lot of progressive elements. “Aftermath” is a short, but very dynamic song and driven by the guitars and the vocals. “Mayhem” continues in the mid-tempo rhythm. The guitars provide a lot of atmosphere, especially during the beginning and the verse sections of the track. The vocals are versatile with the cleans and the growls covering a large part of the vocal range. The song textures are complex with twists in rhythm throughout the track. “Carthasis” has a quiet start during the verse part, before it comes to life during the chorus sections. The song structure is pretty straightforward with the verse-chorus parts and it includes an aggressive break that is driven by the growling vocals of Eissa Zovnercuka.

Queen Of Blame” is one of the album highlights: powerful riffing, comprehensive drumming, and outstanding vocals. The song has plenty of oriental vibes in the melodies and the guitars provide a good atmospheric background for the song. The drumming includes a lot of double-bass and the vocals deliver a perfect mix of cleans, growls, and screams. “We Are One” starts a bit restrained with the guitars and the clean vocals at a measured tempo. The chorus sections are more explosive in particular towards the end of the track, with an aggressive and heavy inter-lude. Overall, “We Are One” is a quiet song at least for most parts of the track. “Enter The Storm” starts with a short build-up and transitions into another quiet verse part, which is dominated by the guitar melodies and the clean vocals. It is another track where the guitars provide the atmosphere. The melodies are slightly melancholic for both the verse and the chorus parts. “Enter The Storm” includes a lead guitar solo that transitions very well into the verse parts. The vocals are predominantly clean with a couple of screams during the chorus parts.

MORPHIDE like the building-ups to the songs and “Akeneo” is one of those. It is maybe once too often, and the track sounds a bit repetitive compared to “We Are One” and “Enter The Storm”. The middle part of the album sounds all too similar and perhaps too nice. The waking-up moment in “Akeneo” is the break halfway through the track with the screams and the heavy riffing. While many songs on the album are relatively short, “Akeneo” is with more than six minutes playing time the longest song on the album.

Panopticon” has a bit more aggression and is more dynamic than the preceding tracks. It has a clear verse-chorus structure, where the verse parts are driven by the melodies and the clean vocals while the chorus parts contain heavy riffing and growling vocals. “Panopticon” is the official video release, and the YouTube link is given below. The album finishes with “Cromulent” and it starts with an atmospheric intro, before the drums and the guitars are taking over. The song follows the same patterns as a few tracks on the album and I would say, this one is the most ballad-esque track on the album, although there are a few contenders for that as far as the verse parts are concerned. Eissa Zovnercuka entirely uses her clean vocals for the first time on the album. The melodies of “Cromulent” are melancholic and the track has no twists and no breaks that would mix things up. It is a quiet way to finish the album.

MORPHIDE deliver a very good alternative Metal album. The guitars and the vocals are technically of high quality. In particular, the vocals of Eissa Zovnercuka have an impressive versatility and the songs are tailored towards her vocal strengths. The album consists of two parts: there are a few dynamic and aggressive songs with cool riffs and a few progressive elements, some of them with a few JINJER vibes. The second part of the album has a few quiet, very similar sounding songs. Here I think, the songwriting needs a bit maturing in future albums. The album is very well produced. “Anhedonia” leaves an impressive mark with potential for even more. MORPHIDE is a very promising band and fans of alternative and progressive Metal will surely dig the album.

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 9
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

1. Aftermath
2. Mayhem
3. Carthasis
4. Queen Of Blame
5. We Are One
6. Enter The Storm
7. Akeneo
8. Panopticon
9. Cromulent
Jelizaveta “Eissa” Zovnercuka – Vocals
Kristians Konovalovs – Guitars, Bass, Drums
Record Label: Independent


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