Enter Morbid Messiah, the newest death metal band that should be under your radar. Demoniac Paroxysm reeks of old-school death metal flair; this thing sounds like its been subjected to coffin rot for thirty years after being locked up following a 1988 release. Available as of October 22nd, your daily fix of death can now be satiated with some Morbid Messiah.
Morbid Messiah comes from the southern lands of Mexico, which would normally prompt someone like myself to go on a rant about the niche that is South American metal (which Mexico seems to be lumped into in discussions like these most of the time). Luckily for you, your ears will be spared from the praising of Sarcofago, Vulcano, Holocausto, and the like as I’m not that familiar with the murky depths of the southern underworld (but apparently they like ending their band names with “o”). They’ve got a good scene down there though, with Brazil’s Diabolic Force releasing one of the best dirty speed metal releases of the year with Praise of Satan. Someone shut me up they’ve already had their turn.
In the realm of old-school death metal worship, Morbid Messiah fall into that modern but not-so-modern grouping of bands that sacrifice lyrical content (which can represent a fair portion of your music’s thump depending on the attentiveness of the listener) and place all too much of an emphasis on achieving that delicious murky production we all know and love. Pioneered by our friends in Autopsy and Obituary, they actually just achieved their gross production and reverb-infused vocals accidentally, as a result of budget equipment and a complete lack of knowledge about the music world; in similar fashion to how Quorthon of Bathory is basically single-handedly responsible for the way black metal sounds today, with its poor production and what-not. Anyways, I digress.
If you’re familiar with bands like Coffin Rot and Torture Rack, who sing about gore and guts and gluttony for the pure sake of it, Morbid Messiah fits rather nicely in between those two, despite the fact that their name makes them sound like a doom outfit. They roll with the best of ‘em, vomiting guttural vocals and rotten guitar tones to produce that oh so good old-school death metal sound.
I will say that the songs on this release are somewhat repetitive and dissectable (?), especially after you’ve been introduced to Morbid Messiah’s formula after hearing the second or third track. There is a lack of uniqueness to be found within the greater portion of Side A of this release, which obviously brings down the overall quality of this beast. I personally found that I could pick out the individual riffs and vocal segments and kind of work back from there, within a few steps, to deduce the album to its point of creation. You get the feeling that these songs weren’t taken very far from the riff-testing-session to their composition. Simple, but still good, albeit simple.
Behold a flash of bright light towards the end of this dimly-lit, spore-infested tunnel; the deus ex machina of Demoniac Paroxysm: weird creativity.
There are a number of songs on this release that feature these absolutely weird and off-putting (at least from a musical perspective, of course the whole record is off-putting, the band’s singing about death) integrations within various tracks that peak my interest. To name a few, the washed-out and frantic guitar solo on “Devoured by Darkness”, the brief back-and-forth vocals of “Breath of the Ominous”, and the abhorrent guitar work on “Crawling in Guts” all offer a tinge of this absurd musical experimentation. They obviously left these experimental pieces for the second half of the record, which I feel was a critical mistake.
Okay, maybe not a critical mistake, because the order of these tracks doesn’t necessarily matter. However, these parts where the band gets really weird with their music are where the record shines, and thus should be the focus of the band’s future endeavours. From listening to this, and a lot of similar death metal, its very clear that the group wants to fit in with all of the groups within this aforementioned sub-subgenre of death metal. I recommend that the band focus on pursuing their unorthodox musical arrangements to diversify themselves from the competition.
Demoniac Paroxysm isn’t half bad. While the replay-ability factor isn’t quite there, the debut serves as a solid base for the group’s future career. They’ve established their sound, and they’ve proved themselves as talented musicians. I recommend they alter their future music to cater to these weird compositions, diversifying themselves by getting classed within a different group of bands. If Morbid Messiah stays down the worn old-school death metal road, they better enjoy the underground; add some flair to the music and hone in on your unique qualities.