A blaze of blasphemous barbarity…
Served up on a cold bed of knives by Moribund Records on 26 February 2016 and dissected by Jason Guest
Five years after their first album Mortuus Cultus, Texan blasphemers Morbus 666 are back with album number two, Ignis Divine Imperium, an intricately woven and increasingly dense album, its nothing less than concentrated morbidity. ‘Fiery Abyss’ quickly establishes the album’s modus operandi: riffs that slowly burn and evolve, drums that simultaneously underpin and accentuate the riffs, vocals that corrode, lyrics that revere the left hand path, and structures that are tightly wound and wounding in their impact.
‘Igniis Divine Imperium’ is a blaze of blasphemous barbarity, as is ‘A Gateway Beyond The Funeral Shroud’, its gloomy heft being augmented by an all-too-brief mid-track breakdown. Next up is the savage and sadistic ‘The Golden Scales Of Tiamat’, probably one of the best tracks on the album, its fast tempo and oppressive atmospherics making for an intense experience. ‘Below The Depths, Ascending Through Darkness (Poison Messiah)’ maintains the high speed ferocity of its predecessor and pushes the album into twisted territories with a riff that appears at about the 3-minute mark that hypnotizes before it casts us back into the blaze and into the cacophony of ‘Worms Of Sephiroth’. And so with ‘Through Black Fog Burns The Eyes Of The Devil’ and the regal ‘The Majesty Of Lucifer’ to close out the album, Morbus 666 remain unforgiving and unremitting in their attack.
Across the album, there’s a relationship between the riffs, the drums and the vocals that is flowing and organic, and so as one engenders the other, the complexities of each track – and the album – continue to emerge as it progresses. And because of this, subsequent listens to the album are all the richer and Ignis Divine Imperium becomes increasingly compelling. As far as the mix goes, with the reverb-shrouded vocals at the fore, sometimes the music can be overshadowed but it can’t be denied that this is an album that stands tall above the blackened mass. Featuring three members of death metal deviants Imprecation and ex-members of the sadly defunct Bahimiron, what else were we to expect?
8 out of 10
- Fiery Abyss
- Igniis Divine Imperium
- A Gateway Beyond The Funeral Shroud
- The Golden Scales Of Tiamat
- Below The Depths, Ascending Through Darkness (Poison Messiah)
- Worms Of Sephiroth
- Through Black Fog Burns The Eyes Of The Devil
- The Majesty Of Lucifer