Release DetailsLABEL N/A
RELEASED ON 10/31/2006
posted on 1/2007 By:
After releasing a somewhat promising demo a couple of years back, Morionor comes at us with their second offering of melodic/symphonic black metal, entitled Noctem Invictus. The first thing I’d like to point out is that this is not an entirely fresh batch of material, as it contains only three new songs out of the six on the recording (one being a keyboard driven intro). They’ve also decided to re-record two of the songs from the aforementioned demo – due to what they call “professional incompetence” – and have also included a cover of Dragonforce’s "Disciples of Babylon" off of the group’s Valley of the Damned record.
Morionor’s sound is best described as early Children of Bodom meets Enthroned Darkness Triumphant-era Dimmu Borgir, but with the intensity and speediness of the above-mentioned power metal shredders, Dragonforce. Although I’m as tired as the next guy of hearing movie soundtrack intros to metal albums, regardless of style, I have to admit that "Ascension" comes across as a nice build up to the album by giving the listener a sense of anticipation as to what’s next on the rise. The blisteringly furious "Nocturne" follows and two things are immediately noticeable – the band has cleaned up the production a tad and their musicianship as a group has improved. Where I thought the demo showed signs of a band that was not quite ready for the recording process, this track proves that they have been working their asses off trying to tighten things up, and believe me, they have. The riffs are cleaner, catchier and the overall effectiveness of them has risen above their past work, as is quite evident on the next song, the menacingly melodic "Chthonic Sojourn." If I had to pick out a slight flaw I’d personally like to see fixed, it would be the excessive lead shreds that are heard on just about every track. I can appreciate the ability to play the guitar that well, but I feel the ominous shredding is complete overkill. Also worth pointing out is that I feel the keys are mixed a bit too high in the mix, and between the keyboards and the guitars, both tend to take away from the overall value of each song. "Cacophony in Rapture" and "Heresy Incarnadine" are the two re-recorded tracks, and aside from both of them being tighter – most noticeably in the drum department, where there has been a major improvement – they’re also shorter than the demo versions thanks to the solos being cut back a tad, but aside from that there’s not a whole lot of difference. The vocals are similar to the demo, but the cleaner production has really helped them come across more up front in the mix. As far as the cover song goes, I haven’t heard the original so I can’t really compare the two. However, the song is posted on their Myspace page, so if you indeed have heard the original and feel like offering a comparison for the rest of our readers in the Lashout section of this page, then I truly welcome that.
When all is said and done the newer material here shows a vast improvement by Morionor and I see a bright future for the band. If you dig that Bodom/Dimmu sound then you’re sure to enjoy what this group has to offer. Although I thought we would have seen a full length album follow their demo, this is a nice stepping stone for the band and shows a group that is “metal smart” and has songwriting ability. It will be interesting to see if they can come up with a full album’s worth of solid material next time around. Keep your eyes on this band, I think they’ll be around for a while.
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