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Mortichnia - Heir To Scoria And Ash

Heir To Scoria And Ash
by Andrew Sifari at 03 September 2016, 9:53 PM

MORTICHNIA mean business. Content to perform in relative anonymity (no full names are listed for any of their band members), the Irish five-piece let their instruments do the talking as they writhe and weave their way through fields of darkness on their debut LP, “Heir To Scoria And Ash”.

As outside influences have further seeped their way in, Black Metal has become fertile territory for complex sounds and ideas. More and more artists are finding ways to express themselves in the genre without limiting themselves to the established guidelines of the genre. On “Heir To Scoria And Ash”, MORTICHNIA do not separate themselves from the unrelenting fury that has defined classic Black Metal so much as they keep it at arm’s length, a tool to be used as necessary. “Searing Impulse” jumps at the listener like a desert wind, burning hot and deliriously before descending into a slower, more focused catharsis, immersing the listener in shimmering streams of melody.

The band doubles down on this with the crushing guitars and punctuated rhythms of “Carrion Proclamation”. Even with the decrease in speed, you can hear the tension in every note and scream, the palpable sense of despair that forms the core of the band’s sound. You can hear bits of bands such as ALTAR OF PLAGUES and DEATHSPELL OMEGA at times, but the overall mood and style is more akin to SOUL DISSOLUTION, with its inclination towards self-doubt and grief rather than blind aggression and outer-directed hatred. Where it lacks the bombast of some of its peers, the album is still plenty heavy and unpredictable. “A Furious Withering” smolders almost patiently, gathering its pain and negative energies as it builds up to a rampage to close out the song. “Heir” puts a nail in the coffin as it rages with authority, putting every ounce of anger the band has into this last ode to misanthropy and finishing as strongly as it started.

I don’t listen to Black Metal often enough to comment on how this album stacks up to the genre’s cutting edge. What I do know, however, is that “Heir To Scoria And Ash” is a mature effort, gracefully marrying melody and malice to make music that both memorable and uncompromising. It’s definitely worth a pick-up for fans of well-written Black Metal.

Songwriting: 8
Originality: 7
Memorability: 8
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

1. Searing Impulse
2. Carrion Proclamation
3. The Waning
4. A Furious Withering
5. Heir
I.D. – Vocals
D.G. – Guitar
L.M. – Guitar
J.H. – Bass
P.F. – Drums
Record Label: Apocalyptic Witchcraft Recordings


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