Moral Collapse - Moral Collapse
Subcontinental
Progressive Death Metal
10 songs (39:47)
Release year: 2021
Reviewed by Goat

Called to attention thanks to the session chops of sticksman Hannes Grossman, India's Moral Collapse feature a wealth of talent making appearances, like a tv show you've never heard of packed with guest stars. Kevin Hufnagel of Gorguts and Dysrhythmia, Michael Wöss of Agathodaimon, Bobby Koelble, once of Death. Yet the central core of the band, guitarists Sudarshan and Arun, are more than worth tuning in for themselves, like actors that you had never heard of but are pleasantly surprised can hold their own against bigger names. For a debut release this is hugely impressive, weaving together technical and genuinely progressive death metal strands into an original sound of the band's own. There's no trend or techy wank as more established bands can fall into, and a hefty dose of ambient/noise interludes that work terrifically alongside the bludgeoning, as intro Anechoic shows before Abandoned Rooms of Misspelled Agony gallops in, somewhere between Immolation and Nile with its riff-driven approach and seamless incorporation of everything from bass flourishes to saxophone shrieks, which doesn't at all feel like some hipster innovation but another chaotic string to the band's progressive bow, more than reflecting a mind under assault from within.

That this six-minute plus song is also catchy is a green flag above all, throwing in chuggy metal riffing and showing that Moral Collapse understand what makes for great metal. And as the album continues, this sense of professionalism continues with the twisty Your Stillborn Be Praised and its widdly infectiousness as well as the Cryptopsy-esque intensity of instrumental Suspension of Disbelief's downright blackened assault before switching into a series of breakdowns almost tribal in feel. And even with the likes of experimental interlude Vermiculus that take up two or so minutes at a time the album is absolutely gripping, not least once you realise the sheer scale of the band's ambition in representing minds gone awry (especially thanks to downright insane finale Trapped Without Recourse, a yammering voice of insanity with deranged violin and bass backing that's worth hearing alone).

And yet, again, even without all the bells and whistles, Moral Collapse are supremely capable metallurgists. The likes of Sculpting the Womb of Misery would be enough to sell this band to any death metalhead capable of discerning quality, with its technical machinery akin to prime era Decapitated. And although there's more than a hint of sub-prime era Obituary to later cuts such as Denier of Light, it's clear that Moral Collapse are still more than capable of cranking out solid death metal anthems with lead guitar galore. You can imagine future releases from this band being even better yet it's really difficult not to be impressed by this already, and so even as Moral Collapse are recommended to you as a future prospect you should also be listening to them now. With talent like this, we should start thinking of India with the same respect as Sweden when it comes to death metal.

Killing Songs :
Abandoned Rooms of Misspelled Agony, Suspension of Disbelief, Sculpting the Womb of Misery
Goat quoted 80 / 100
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