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Morticula Rex – Autumnal Rites

Morticula Rex
Autumnal Rites
by Justin "Witty City" Wittenmeier at 12 April 2021, 6:42 AM

MORTICULA REX is an Italian death/doom band, who formed in 2018. It is actually a two man band featuring Pavor Nocturnus and A. Wehrmacht.  "Autumnal Rites" is their second full length album. The production on this album hit me in the face on the very first note. "Autumnal Rites" is an album that is loud but has clear sound.  Despite that, it does have a very "live" feel to it—-turn this beast up and you'll swear the band is playing right next to you.

Fortunately, the music is just as well put together as the production.  The riffs across the album are absolutely massive. Like any good death/doom band, the guitars have a dismal tone but backed up with tons of slow to mid paced grooves that are uncompromising as hell. With that being said, there are many moments of dual guitar melodies and harmonies. They work great with the band's darker side and make the songs stand out from a lot of other death/doom.

The bass is equally as impressive.  Along with the drums, it helps hold a strong rhythmic foundation but it isn’t always content on just playing what the guitars do—the bass is very much it's own beast while keeping true to the songs. The drums are programmed but I didn’t know until after my research—extremely potent and on point. "Scars" opens with melodic bass before everything grinds away, especially the robust double bass that accents the riffs. In between the groove laden riffs and bass, the aforementioned melodies make their appearance and they piece together the songs for optimum flow.

Around the halfway point the song speeds up for blistering death metal then allows down to a doom groove that hits hard even though it is rather melodic in places. The title track is immediate, featuring one hell of a riff. The base here is spectacular and the synergy that exists between it and the guitars brings out the obvious exceptional song writing skills of the band. There is a brief moment where clean guitars and bass lead into a spoken word passage…clever and well done moment I say. It also leads smoothly into the later half of the song that has the band's light and heavy elements mixing.

"They Come Out At Dusk," basically splits the album up with a slick respite from the carnage. The track is nothing more than a short interlude but its actually moving and emotional. The track that follow is "The Silent Within." The bass holds it all down by being both sense and melodic, able to increase the song's strength while complementing the guitars and drums. The song's mid section leads into a passage that echoes the beginning moments with added intensity at the end for a strong finish.

The final track "Sleeping Among The Dead,"  is dark, creepy and an appropriate ending to the album.   The riffs behind the guitar solo are brutal and signify the song growing more intense before an acoustic passage break through and, in turn, gives way to the ending guitar solo. This album is a solid death/doom album with a decent grasp on the concept of melody and using it effectively without going overboard.

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

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Scars
2. The Great Devourer
3. Autumnal Rites
4. They Come Out at Dusk
5. The Silence Within
6. Days of Darkness
7. Sleeping Among the Dead
Lineup:
A. Wehrmacht – Vocals (Lead), Guitars (Rhythm), Bass (tracks 1,2, 6) Drum Programming
Pavor Nocturnus – Guitars (Lead), Guitars (Acoustic), Screaming Vocals, Bass (tracks 3, 5, 7)
Record Label: Satanath Records
     


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