Review Summary: An underground classic or just your average OSDM album?
Formed in Illinois in 1990, Morgue
released their only album, Eroded Thoughts
, in 1993 on the very respectable Grind Core label. Now long out-of-print, Eroded Thoughts
has come to be seen as somewhat of an underground classic through its mixture of Autopsy
-esque doom passages and catchy rhythm and lead work. However, is this status deserved, or are Morgue just another third-rate band that never made any waves in the very crowded death metal scene of the early 90s?
As previously mentioned, there is a lot of influence from pack leaders Autopsy
. This is best shown in songs such as Random Decay
and Plagued Birth
, both featuring Autopsy
's trademark of slow and heavy grooves. However, it would be wrong to say that Morgue
were simply another Autopsy
rip-off with other influences coming from bands such as Death
, while adding their own twisted riff style. Coroner's Report
would be an excellent example of this, featuring very catchy style of riffing that leads into a very rock-based groove around the half-way mark. Along with Coroner's Report
, another highlight of the album would be Plagued Birth
, which features more of the excellent, almost flashy but purposeful lead work and twisted riffing that features throughout the album.
It could be argued that the main weakness of the album is that Morgue
do not always use their doom passages effectively. Random Decay
is the closest that Eroded Thoughts
comes to being uninteresting, with a plodding riff that doesn't seem to go anywhere. However, improvement does come through the implementation of some more technical lead work (see a pattern here?) however, it does not stop Random Decay
from being one of the weaker moments on the album. Severe Psychopathology
also features the doom of Random Decay
, albeit an improvement due to more variation from the included tempo changes and some ripping riff work.
It is easy to see that Morgue
were a very talented band, and they clearly knew how to write a good song. There is some very solid songwriting throughout, and the band themselves were not slouches. Brad Buldak
's vocals are fairly standard low growls for the genre, and his bass lines, while not always prevelant, provide great backing to the guitars. The guitarists Ryan Jerzak
and Darrel Moore
provide some very intriguing and twisted riffing that is complemented by some technical lead work that doesn't become pretentious. Eroded Thoughts
also features two drummers; Nick Sebock
, who provides drums for tracks 1-3, and Ted Van Tilburg
, who provides drums for tracks 4-7. I am no expert on the instrument but both musicans are extremely competent and do provide some compelling drum work.
With only seven songs and a 32 minute run-time, Eroded Thoughts
does not stick around long enough to become boring. There are some slight flaws in the thin production job where the vocals are too far forward in the mix, and while they could write some truly excellent riffs, they could not really utilise the slower passages in their songs effectively enough to be more than just competent. Eroded Thoughts
is not a classic but it is an underground gem that has steadily gained more popularity throughout the years. Unfortunately this is Morgue
's only album; it would have been nice to see how they developed from here.