Formed in France in 1997, Morgue quickly forged a unique niche for themselves with a neat mixture of brutal death metal and grindcore. A hiatus between 2005 and 2012 thwarted their development somewhat, but they’re very much back, and their fourth full-length, Lowest Depths Of Misery, is the album they’ve always wanted to make (and one you’ve always wanted to hear).
If you’ve ever been plagued by negative or intrusive thoughts, you’ll know there’s no better way to clear the mind than with a crushing metal band in full flight. That’s exactly what opening track ‘Transcend The Acheron’ does, it’s a musical steamroller that flattens all in its path and sweeps away any debris with a brutality unheard of this side of the millennium. Morgue are peeved, and that anger seeps through every note of this primary shot, and indeed, the whole album. The briefest of introductions sets an unearthly tone before the band explode like a nail bomb which sends razor sharp shards of sonics shattering in every direction. This music isn’t made for the weak of constitution, and such is the velocity of the sound pouring from my speakers that it should really come with a health warning.
Morgue are a tight and compact duo comprising of bassist (and founding member) Jérôme Blandino and guitarist/vocalist/drummer Max Lobier (who joined in 2021) and that’s it, the whole caboodle (although legendary French black metal vocalist Meyhnach makes an appearance as guest singer). Morgue benefit from being a tight unit, and everything on Lowest Depths Of Misery is nailed down, trussed tightly and honed into a red-hot laser beam. The absence of any extraneous influences means that this album goes straight for the kill, as you’d expect an amalgamation of death and grindcore would. It’s no secret that Morgue were unhappy with the sound of their last full-length (2016’s Doors Of No Return) largely because of the drum sound, but Lobier has rectified that situation, and his cavernous, powerful playing takes Morgue into uncharted territory.
Rather like a Slayer album could only be a Slayer album, the same applies to Morgue; you know they’re not going to sneak a ballad in or anything similar to stink up the party, and Lowest Depths Of Misery is nine tracks of unhinged brutality. It’s akin to being mauled by a shark, as teeth tear your skin, and the water bubbles a bloody red. The guitar largely eschews solos, and the riffs are bricks stacked in which to entomb the listener, making tracks such as ‘Walls Of Dis’ become impenetrable and inescapable catacombs. The great thing about Morgue is that they don’t over complicate things; they won’t use two chords when one will suffice and subsequently tracks like ‘Hug And A Stab In The Back’ become all the more vital and visceral.
By the time we reach the final cut ‘Safe In Gods Care’ you may feel a bit bloodied and bruised by the musical pummelling that Morgue have dished out, but then again, they never claimed to be easy listening. But if you like your death metal on the brutal side, then Lowest Depths Of Misery is the album for you.
- Reviewed by Peter Dennis.
- Lowest Depths Of Misery is released via Godz Ov War and is available now from here.
- Transcend The Acheron
- Polar Aftermath
- That Which Does Not Live
- House Of The Departed
- Down Syndrome
- Roads To Gehenna
- Walls Of Dis
- Hug And A Stab In The Back
- Safe In Gods Care