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Morte Macabre - Symphonic Holocaust CD (album) cover


Morte Macabre


Heavy Prog

4.03 | 159 ratings

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4 stars A dying tree cuts an album with a winter-breeze

Boo! Oh, I didn´t mean to frighten you... I´ve always enjoyed horror movies, and part of the pleasure for me, as well as being one of the biggest components of fear, - is the background music. Can you imagine The Carpenters recording the score for any John Carpenter movie? (That would probably be frightening though, but in a bizarre way not really fitting Carpenter´s imagery. Not everyone can turn something as sugary sweet, like two small school girls in a hallway, into something that will haunt you forever, like Kubrick was capable of.)

This album is a tribute to old school horror flicks and the music they contained. It´s a dark and somber venture this one, and even though you haven´t had the pleasure of listening to the record in a long while, it somehow stays with you - like some sort of ninja-chlamydia that´s impossible to get rid of. Evil sadness carved in ice.

Symphonic Holocaust is the result of Reine Fisker(guitars, Mellotron, violin, Fender Rhodes) and Stefan Dimle(bass, Mellotron, Moog) from Landberk, Peter Berg(Mellotron, Fender Rhodes, Theremin, sampler, guitar, bass) and Niclas Nordins(drums, percussion, Mellotron) off Anekdoten. Both bands here hail from Sweden, and the cold and unforgiving weather - the snowstorms, the howling wolfs together with the fading voices of old and terrifying Nordic myths carried on the wind - all are deeply integrated in the music. A natural tattoo, you´ll have to use your ears to see, if you will.

All the guys play the mellotron as you´d probably noticed, and I think it is the reason behind this record´s originality. A quite disturbing, but somehow very beautiful fingerprint. The mellotrons have a ghost-like feel to them. Hovering stagnant and ghastly above the music like a white phantom of fear. It gives the music another dimension, and takes you to a land of muddy and swampy bogs, where everything is hazy and all objects are but a shadow of themselves - nebulous contours. This is in fact the best way of describing the actual music contained within this album, as this facet seeps into all the other instruments. Even the drums have an extremely dry sound, which makes you think of either withered away tree branches cracking away to the beat, or like stepping on small twigs in a place you prefer not be heard.

There is a reason this album is called Symphonic Holocaust. It is through and through symphonic - soaked in giant musical castles towering in front of you like Bela Lugosi on stilts. Although things get rather heavy at times, with some fabulous bass work from Stefan Dimle, who has a wonderful way of adding tonal darkness to an already tomb-like recording, -the all powering symphonic nature of these pieces just seems impossible to overshadow.

Guesting on Lullaby, which is a track originally heard in Roman Polanski´s Rosemary´s Baby, is Yessica Lindkvist with some la-la-la-lahs. Her voice evokes the aforementioned kiddies from the Kubrick film, coloring the track in an eeriness as well as a melancholy that would make trees cry. All the pieces here are interpreted renditions of old horror movie music, except for the intro(which I´m not particularly fond of) and the last piece. (If you´re interested in finding out, where each track is lifted/inspired from, I urge you to read some of the other reviews, as this particular matter has been explained several times before.)

Reine Fisker is one of my current faves on the guitar, and if you´ve come across his work before - either in Landberk or Dungen, where he plays like a blend of Gilmour and Hendrix - you´ll pick up another side to his playing here, that most of all resembles long howling ticklings of the strings. It makes me think of the northern winds coming in from the black seas surrounding us here in Scandinavia. It´s yearning, sorrowful and beautiful like crimson blood on a blue glacier.

This album is recommended for Alaskan people, spirits of winds and folks around here who enjoy the bands these musicians stem from - and furthermore find great pleasure in the icy shafts of the mellotron once put on record by the great lord Fripp. 4.5 stars.

Guldbamsen | 4/5 |


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