Review Summary: As the acid melts your flesh.
The fjords of Norway are majestic crevasses of near incomparable beauty that embody a mysterious sense of dread when you enter them. You imagine the forces that must have shaped out these deep gorges and it makes you feel very small. It's no surprise that the country's music scene has long represented the Norwegian landscape with strange twists on the usual formulas. While Norway's black metal scene has dominated the spectrum emerging from the metallic side of the country, a rapidly emerging death metal movement is spewing out alarmingly good releases with past triumphs such as Molested's Blod-Draum
and Darkthrone's Soulside Journey
in mind. Morbid Dimensions
is one of these records, channelling Obliteration's Nekropsalms
with frightening efficiency and in every way exceeding Execration's previous ambitions.
Off-kilter, spacey and drugged overtones spew immediately out of the faucet on Morbid Dimensions
. This album is less a death/doom album than Obliteration's stench of decay from 2009, being packed with more rapid tempos, but it still manages to give off a very uneasy and spastic aura upon listening. On top of the demented and unhallowed tremolo picking, black metal-styled melodies (even incorporating more technical or atmospheric stylings at times ala Flourishing, Gorguts or Ulcerate) and very adept rhythmic section, you have a vocal styling that blends Tardy, Reifert and Karki into a f*cked-up, raspy, shredded filth that combines like a mortar and pestle with the churning, roiling musicianship underneath. You could list as many influences as you want, but that wouldn't cover the full range of what is presented here.
One of the things that I personally most appreciate about this wave of Norwegian death metal is the realization of how much the bass can impact a death metal record. Morbid Dimensions
is no exception to this formula and with the bass of Jonas Helgemo trading punches with the duo of Jørgen Maristuen and Chris Johansen, you have a full frontal assault that can compare to any death metal record in this new wave of old school stylings. I'm sure the Darkthrone duo would appreciate this album as much as Obliteration's churning masses of putrefaction. Essentially what has happened here is that we have gone from the black metal-infused church burnings to the improper dismantling of caustic chemical facilities and nuclear meltdown, if you can imagine what that would sound like as a record. It makes its relatively long run time go surprisingly fast.
Norway's death metal scene is quickly establishing a name for itself among the fresh wave that has blown up in recent years and a reputation for high quality. With bands like Obliteration and Execration leading the way, it appears it will be here for a while longer and all death metal fans should rejoice in that. It can be safely said that Morbid Dimensions
is one of the clear standouts out of this movement along with The Sleep of Morbid Dreams
and Obliteration's material. Personally, I cannot wait to see what comes next out of Norway's depths of depravity, the bullseye just keeps on getting hit. To be continued...