Morgul - All Dead Here ...
Season Of Mist
Dark Metal
8 songs (48'35")
Release year: 2005
Morgul, Season Of Mist
Reviewed by Alex

It is superficial, but true, that I pulled this album out of the pile of promos because the mainman of Morgul Jack D. Ripper, aka J Maestro Discordia, or simply J for short, looks like a dead on copy of Undertaker, the WWF star. The thought of the “wrestler” moving to Norway and making an album is, of course, ridiculous, but, hey, that was the first impression. All stupid first impressions aside, Morgul is not a newcomer, All Dead Here … being the fifth creation coming out of J’s twisted mind. After the first two albums on Napalm Records, Morgul even fooled with the “big time” music industry signing with Century Media. I even remember The Horror Grandeur, Morgul’s first with CM, lauded highly for its unusual combo of dark intentions and Scandinavian/Slavic cold arrangements. Just like so many other possibly worthwhile albums I missed that one as well. You can’t have it all, I guess ... J, meanwhile, decided that “big time” is no longer for Morgul, broke up with Century Media, released long-time drummer and partner-in-crime Hex, and moved on with his musical insanity all alone. Season of Mist bought the rights to All Dead Here …, the album J self-financed, thus, presumably, saving it from any outside influences and pressures.

I love it when the label tries to make you believe the album you hold in your hands is the “darkest”, “heaviest” or “groundbreaking”, more so than any other album you ever listened to. Not true, most of the time, but at least you can get a feel with where the musical direction lies. All Dead Here … can be lumped into a corner of metal where the artist does not pledge allegiance to a genre, instead trying to create something of his own, borrowing freely from many a school. Morgul is like that, “dark” metal being the most appropriate description. A dash of gothic, a splash of post-black, a pinch of industrial, with a drop of orchestral arrangements – it is all of the above. If crushing industrialized rhythms were subtracted, this could be a decent soundtrack to a B-horror movie.

The first couple of tracks, The Mask of Sanity and The Need to Kill did not inject any adrenaline in my blood stream. Crunchy riffs, the heaviness of which is exaggerated by the production, processed vocals ranging from clean to extreme, more blackened intensity in The Need to Kill, but no grabbing power. I don’t know if The Kovenant started it, having donned those ridiculous suits, but the direction is certainly growing with bands sprouting in every corner of the world (The Amenta, Scorngrain, etc.)

The title track on All Dead Here … has converted me into more of a believer. It is here that riffs and rhythms slay in unison, processed growls fit, mid-tempo chorus explodes with sinister melody, and out-of-nowhere violin adds the neurotic touch. This is one powerful and disturbed piece of music. The violin is a great find for Morgul. Just like it was with Tristania and The Sins of Thy Beloved the violin adds desperate melodies in the middle of otherwise barren landscapes (Hategrinder). Outro takes it one step further turning the violin wail into that song’s centerpiece.

The rest of the album is respectable, but not close to the title track that made a big impression on me. The gothic-death lovers of bands like Crematory may enjoy the hidden bonus song. Shackled has awesome bass, completely overpowering the drums, which by the way are pretty puny all the way through, and a powerful memorable riff that will stay with you a while. Sanctus Perversum is a bit different, starts with a piano and acoustic lull, slowly growing heavier, ripping the quietness apart only to end in a full circle.

All Dead Here … is not going to become my favorite dark metal album, but there are certainly moments here which are well worth your attention.

Killing Songs :
All Dead Here ..., Sanctus Perversum, Shackled
Alex quoted 71 / 100
Other albums by Morgul that we have reviewed:
Morgul - Sketch Of A Supposed Murderer reviewed by Marc and quoted 79 / 100
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