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Morbus Chron - Sweven CD (album) cover

SWEVEN

Morbus Chron

 

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

4.31 | 20 ratings

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CassandraLeo
5 stars Morbus Chron's debut, Sleepers in the Rift, was solid but fairly by-the-numbers old school death metal worship (think the likes of Autopsy). For those who enjoy such material, it's certainly a great listen, but it's not the sort of thing that would get a band a listing on Prog Archives.

On the other hand, Sweven, their second album, is a radical left-turn the likes of which few listeners had probably expected of them. While there's still plenty of death metal here, there are significant portions of the record that do not actually qualify as metal at all, and even the segments that do qualify as metal manage to maintain the same otherworldly, dreamy atmosphere as the more subdued bits. Several songs are also instrumental, and even in the vocal songs, the band stretches out instrumentally at length.

The song lengths are also misleading: several pieces segue seamlessly into one another (the first three songs are an excellent example of this). The result is that the album feels more like a single long composition with a few brief gaps than a collection of ten songs.

The songwriting and performances are superb throughout; the lyrics, though mostly indecipherable, are different enough from the standard blood and gore fare of death metal to be worth a read. The production is excellent, with the instrumental clarity high and the instruments being mastered with plenty of room to breathe. A note must also be made about the packaging, which is simply gorgeous, especially on the vinyl edition, which comes with a gorgeous twelve-page, 12"x12" booklet that contains several beautiful full-size paintings. In an era in which record packaging is dying as an art form, it's nice to see a band keeping it going. There really isn't a weak point on this album for progressive death metal fans, and it stands as one of the best releases of the genre in 2014. Strongly recommended.

CassandraLeo | 5/5 |

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