Underground death metal demos are sometimes tits and Morbid’s December Moon
is no exception. Featuring members of Entombed and Nihilist, Morbid released two demo’s before calling it quits after their one year formation in 1987; leaving behind a tasty precursor of what would shortly take place a few years later under Entombed. December Moon
shows these Swedes ripping some of the freshest riffs in the underground death metal scene. With a production that is as crusty and frothy as a convulsing bowl of captain crunch, guitarist Uffe Cerdelund and drummer Lars-Goran Petrov reak havoc through 4 tracks of unrelenting solid death metal; not to mention two brief interludes of clean/depressive guitar passages.
From the get go the opener “My Dark Subconscious” begins with a dual phaser effect tremolo under a build-up of staccato chug harmonies before jumping into a double bass assault of never-ending tasty riffs. The compositional-passages flow into each other as smoothly as water meeting water. Vocalist Per Yngve Ohlin (aka Dead) utilizes a style that is mid-range, raspy, and even sinister like what you would envision a talking snake would sound like. “Wings of Funeral” contains both heavy hitting tempo changes and melodic harmonies that blend in perfectly with the unrelenting-numerous riffs of mayhem. “From the Dark Moon” is probably the heaviest track here, taking advantage of the slowest tempos on the track to unveil feelings of despair and disdain with the words of “By night will strike me…I die”. The closer “Disgusting Semla” is actually quite comical due to the ending minutes showcasing the vocalist saying “La, la la, La, La”, as if mocking an entity before the demo’s conclusion.
Its demos like this that encourages me to look into the roots of where most death metal bands started. Sometimes you’ll find a thriving level of energy and fresh riffs that can’t be found on artist’s later works. Although the music here is executed very well and is a quick run through some of Sweden’s best riffs, as well as an audible bass that always pleases, it’s not going to be the most innovative death metal you’ve ever heard; but for 1987 this is one hell of a demo. Entombed’s roots started here and if you’re a fan of them this demo cannot be passed up.