Morne
Asylum


4.0
excellent

Review

by Troggy USER (15 Reviews)
July 26th, 2012 | 9 replies


Release Date: 2011 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Morne have set themselves apart with the beyond-sludge elements of their music and crafted an imperfect, but thoroughly entertaining album.

Asylum is the second full length album from sludgy post metallers Morne. Despite their crust punk and sludge influences, Morne’s sound is crisp and clean cut for the genre; bottom heavy, but not drowned in post-metal fuzz. Asylum does feature sludge: properly down tuned guitars, and vocals consisting of nothing but a monotone roar. However, what is going on around these basic elements is a little more difficult to pigeonhole.

Asylum opens with a megalithic 17-minute-plus title track. Having attended the Agalloch School of 17 Minute Song Writing (Fig 1. ‘Black Lake Nidstang’), Morne present a song that can be deconstructed into movements after precious few listens, a virtue that many songs of such length lack. Like genre-mates Cult of Luna, the majority of riffs on Asylum are immediate and, dare I say, catchy. While the vocals are unremarkable throughout the album, they aren’t off-putting once the lines commit themselves to the listener’s memory.

Where Morne succeed is not only the tight song structures, but the great touches they add to their baseline sound throughout Asylum. Piano accents abound, synthesizers hum, and a couple of well executed guitar solos kick in at the right times. Some of the songs are very traditional, such as the verse/chorus format of ‘Killing Fields’. Others, such as ‘Edge of the Sky’ romp about, only to dissolve into relative calm where mournful clean guitar leads adorn post-rock musings.

The centerpiece of the album, two tracks running at approximately twenty total minutes, contains some of Morne’s best material to date. Highlights include the crusty guitar solo that caps off ‘Nothing to Remain’, and the driving guitar attack of ‘I Will See You’. However, as good as these tracks are, it would have been easy to trim them to a more manageable 7 to 8 minutes. Morne is very patient at times, which is a good trait for a band that plays this style of music, but perhaps too patient at others. Although the songs on Asylum are not terribly ‘progressive’, that isn’t to say they don’t mutate at all.

The elephant in the room of the bunch would be the album’s closer, ‘Volition.’ It is a collaboration that features Jarboe on vocals and Kris Force of Amber Asylum on Cello, Viola, and Violin (Presumably all at once!). ‘Volition’ is sparse, utilizing simple piano phrases and some forlorn strings for the majority of its length. It is a haunting vocal melody reminiscent of Jessica Kinney’s contributions to Wolves in the Throne Room’s Two Hunters, albeit less grandiose. However, it does share a lack of traditional structure. The five plus minutes the two ladies contribute to Asylum are challenging, but they are fragile and hard to ignore.

In the context of the album, ‘Volition’ is a hit or miss conclusion. The sludge-storm of a riff that wraps up Asylum pales in comparison to the devious penultimate track, ‘My Return’. While the finale is noisy, ‘My Return’ swirls about in a delightfully sinister muck that makes it the winner in the end. It is the track on Asylum that puts the least emphasis on vocal sections, except for the effect they leave on the track once they fade away. By the time the spiraling outro almost literally drowns itself, the listener is as immersed in the Asylum as they will get.

While the album as a whole over-runs its welcome by a few minutes here and there, most of the tracks don't stagnate. Memorable, and at times, beautiful guitar lines weave in and out of the riff colossus. Asylum succeeds thanks to the accessible and accomplished songwriting, and effective use of accent instruments. There may be a few stray Oceanic riffs buried in these songs, but with Asylum Morne have set themselves apart with the other elements of their music and crafted an imperfect, but thoroughly entertaining album.



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user ratings (25)
Chart.
3.5
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
CaptainDooRight
July 26th 2012


30037 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

sup bro, what's goin on , readin ur rev right now

Digging: Fleurety - Min Tid Skal Komme

CaptainDooRight
July 26th 2012


30037 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

i remember ur review for paramaecium was tits as was the album

CaptainDooRight
July 26th 2012


30037 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

excellent review bro, i like the layout with many shorter paragraphs makes for an easier read as well as being able to find main point. Swell job. This is right up my alley. Gonna hear this asap. do you have any song links or is it easy to find on youtube per say?

CaptainDooRight
July 26th 2012


30037 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

"My Return" was solid. I like the sound. I agree with what you said in your review about lengthy parts and what not but this would be perfect to try to fall asleep to.

"Nothing to Remain" starts off very nice. Haha these guys sure take their time with the music, that same riffs plays on for about 3 1/2 minutes but the riff that comes in around 3:45 is serious tits. I really don't mind if riffs drag on if they're really good which I'd say these guys are usually there. After first listen I'm leaning towards a high 3.5 and I know this is a grower for sure so I'm gonna get this. Thanks for sharing bro and keep reviewing awesome albums. You're kinda like me and like to review albums that aren't too well known without reviews. Good job again.

ForeignFilm
July 26th 2012


129 Comments


Reminds me of Thema Eleven in places, good stuff.

Wizard
June 11th 2013


19556 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Whoa, didn't know a review was done for this, was going to do one. Such an awesome sludge record.

Digging: Nero Di Marte - Derivae

SubtleBody
June 11th 2013


519 Comments


looks sweet, will have to check this

Wizard
June 12th 2013


19556 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I'm already listening to it ; ).

tacos N stuff
July 19th 2013


384 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

my return riffs pretty hard



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