Moral Collapse – Moral Collapse
Release Date: 02/04/2021
Running Time: 34:48
Review by Dark Juan
Alright, me old muck spreaders? Jolly good…I trust you all have (in the UK at least) given your livers the kind of pummelling that only a sunny afternoon and evening in a beer garden can provide? I myself am avoiding it until such time as all the yahoos have got bored of being outside and have returned to their homes and I can sit in a corner nursing a pint and glowering fiercely at the rest of the patrons at my local hostelry, unless it’s the Puzzle Hall Inn in Sowerby Bridge, where you might in fact be just as likely to find me glowering or playing a glorious kazoo solo along with The Devil’s Jukebox when they play live. Hopefully Dr. Ezekiel Bordello has packed in his wont to strip out of his magnificent 1920s zoot suit down to posing pouch, sock suspenders and nipple pasties…
This indent on my word processor is doing my fucking swede in because I didn’t tell it to do it and it has just decided all by itself that my writing will be enhanced by bollocking it up (NB: fixed in the edit. Fucking computers). Also, my new computer won’t tell me the runtime of records anymore and Admiral Sir Richard “Enough Of Your Fucking Excuses, Do It On A Calculator Like Everyone Else, You Fucking Muppet” Tilley requires that runtime be provided for you lovely people (You add it up or go to Spotify – Rick 😊). Anyway, time to stop moaning and talking about roots jazz bands who like playing dress up (and subsequently removing their clothes in the name of entertainment) and instead tell you about Moral Collapse, who are from India, with a very famous German contingent as well. That German contingent is one of my very favourite drummers, being the mighty, multi-armed and clearly insane Hannes Grossmann (Necrophagist, Obscura, Blotted Science). This is a man who has obviously sold his soul to as many devil analogues as he possibly could (probably leading to the first ever set of lawsuits between demonic entities when it comes to soul ownership upon his death) because he is a fucking prodigiously talented man. It will not surprise you to learn that I fucking hate him for precisely this reason, as well as loving his skills at the same time.
Disclaimer: I don’t hate him. It’s self-hatred because I am such a benightedly awful musician. I’m sure Herr Grossmann is a lovely man.
Upon first listen, Moral Collapse have a major super tech death vibe not unlike Necrophagist with a dirtier production (Necrophagist were always arctically pure in production value) but then repeated listens reveal hidden depths, and unfamiliar instruments (Indian instruments featuring in more than a couple of places to absolutely spectacular effect) and timings lifting a record I was afraid of being a Necrophagist clone up to heights that easily enable Moral Collapse to stand alone and proud. This is something like the third or fourth death metal record I have listened to recently that has cheerfully chucked out all the preconceptions of what had become a very moribund style of metal and replaced them with a childlike glee in exploring new sounds and textures and showing the purists a massive middle finger. ‘Suspension Of Disbelief’ especially shows this off with traditional death metal drumming overlaying mental percussion, jazz fuelled madness, droning keyboards, the boingingest bass I have ever heard and howling guitar insanity. There are so many timing changes I can’t keep up and frankly I’m struggling to type fast enough to keep up with what the mad bastards are going to do next. It’s fair to say that Messrs. Grossmann, Natarajan and Mankad are utterly batshit, judging by this record and the fact that it stomps happily over all known preconceptions and still manages to melt off your face with considerable aplomb.
Yeah, this record is indeed a Very Good Thing. The production is solid as fuck, giving the music added punch simply because it is a thicker and dirtier sound than most tech death bands would employ – Moral Collapse have a warm and muscular sound compared to the metronomic, robotic sound bands like Protosequence and Fractal Generator use. However, everything is clearly legible (even the mad bits) and it gives you a good kick in the guts with hobnailed boots. The drums are perfectly produced (even if I don’t like the curiously lifeless snare sound) and cut through the guitar and vocals cleanly. The vocals are standard gut rumblers but delivered with purpose and power and the guitar work of Arun Natarajan and Sudarshan Mankad is just sublime. Controlled, yet aggressive, but bursting out of the confines of death metal every single fucking chance they get, they are sharp, original, breathtaking in complexity and speed and just fill this tired old Hellpriest with something approximating joy. ‘Trapped Without Recourse (Rumination)’ is another song that proves that the band requires serious medication to stop them killing anyone, starting as it does with an eerily plucked violin which is an unusual counterpoint to some demented and actually quite disturbing nonsensical babbling bubbling over Whitehouse-esque electronic soundscapes. What makes this band even more incredible is that significant passages on the record are spontaneously improvised. IMPROVISED!!!!
So, ladies, gentlemen and gentlepersons, we have on our hands a bit of a banger. If you like exploratory music that still pays homage to its roots, you’ll fucking love this. If you like technical death metal, you’ll fucking love this. If you are a drumming geek, you’ll fucking LOVE this. In short, Moral Collapse are intense, powerful, absolutely original and heavier than my fat arse after the two quarter pound chilli burgers I just ate. In underpants made of plutonium. Technical mastery meets absolute savagery. I love it.
The Patented Dark Juan Blood Splat Rating System (पेटेंटेड डार्क जुआन ब्लड स्प्लटर रेटिंग सिस्टम for Hindi readers and ਪੇਟੈਂਟਡ ਡਾਰਕ ਜੁਆਨ ਬਲੱਡ ਸਪਲੈਟਰ ਰੇਟਿੰਗ ਸਿਸਟਮ for our Punjabi friends. I do so love Google Translate) awards Moral Collapse the full beans 10/10. I fucking love where death metal is going these days. Apart from Six Feet Under.
‘Suspension Of Belief’ (Official Video)
02. Abandoned Rooms Of Misspelled Agony
03. Your Stillborn Be Praised
04. Suspension Of Belief
05. Vermicularis (Interruption)
06. Sculpting The Womb Of Misery
07. To The Blind, All Things Sudden
08. Denier Of Light
09. Trapped Without Recourse (Rumination)
Arun Natarajan – Guitars, Bass and Vocals
Sudarshan Mankad – Guitars
Hannes Grossmann – Drums
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