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MORBID
MORBID
Year Of The Goat
(Century Media Records)
114:23min

According to the liner notes of this extremely welldone package, there's supposed to be about 40 (!!!) unofficial MORBID releases out by now... and we're talking about an extremely young Swedish band that only put out two official demos in their rather shortlived career, of which the second one ("Last Supper") not even featured the classic 1987 "December Moon" line-up anymore. So, what is/was so special about these guys that their legacy still continues to live on after so many years after their split-up? Well, I guess you can blame a big part of their popularity on the typical name dropping thing here again and the attitude and charisma of their exceptional frontman Per Yngve Ohlin (aka "Dead"), who unfortunately committed suicide on April 8, 1991... Due to the fact that he ended up being the vocalist of Norway's Black Metal icons MAYHEM, with whom he recorded the classic "Live In Leipzig" album and the two fantastic studio tracks on the "Projections Of A Stained Mind" compilation back in 1991, the logical result was of course that his own band MORBID also started to benefit pretty much from the constantly growing popularity of MAYHEM. If you'll furthermore add the fact that two other members of MORBID (Uffe "Napoleon Pukes" Cederlund and Lars-Göran "Drutten" Petrov) also became pretty famous later on in NIHILIST / ENTOMBED, you'll at least start to understand the big interest in the material of their early underground days. From today's point of view MORBID's music may neither sound very brutal, nor extremely fast or in any other way "legendary"... but if you consider the time when those songs were written (the big Death and Black Metal explosion was yet to come and almost no bands of those genres existed), you'll easily notice something very special about them. Somehow you could label them as pretty raw Speed / Thrash Metal that first and foremost stood out due to Dead's unique vocal delivery. This youngster, who very early on was already obsessed by Horror comics and Satanism, had created a style on his own that was grim, dark and often sounded more like menacing whispering rather than the typical screaming and barking. Musically the entire band sounded surprisingly tight and well rehearsed, contrary to what a lot of other bands usually delivered back then. So, if you never heard songs like 'My Dark Subconscious', 'Wings Of Funeral', From The Dark' or 'Disgusting Semla' (with its rather weird, but famous "lalala"-ending), you definitely missed out on some brutal music of historical value. "Year Of The Goat" is a double CD / triple vinyl package, and an authorized, official MORBID release, that features the complete "December Moon" demo, a couple of rehearsal tracks (of decent quality) and three live shows from various locations in Sweden (at Birkagarden and two times at the Ultra). All those of you who own HELLHAMMER's "Demon Entrails" deluxe 2 CD set will already know what to expect from the awesome packaging here as well, since it was done in an almost similar way. Both CDs come in a very cool looking digibook with an additional slipcase and a 36 pages (!!) fat booklet incorporated. It features very in-depth liner notes by Daniel Ekeroth (best known from his book "Swedish Death Metal") on the history of MORBID, an interview by Metalion of Slayer Mag, lots of old photos and drawings by Ohlin, as well as cover artwork and layout by Erik Danielsson (WATAIN). You'll even find a repro of Dead's first handwritten letter to Metalion in it and detailed info on the gig history of MORBID. Vinyl collectors are advised to hunt down a copy of the deluxe triple-gatefold LP (180g vinyls), that offers printed inner sleeves and a slipcase. I also heard about strictly limited colored editions of 200 copies, so you better hurry to still get a copy of those until they end up being sold for ridiculous prices on Ebay again. Even though there's so many releases out these days, there's no way to miss out in this one since "Year Of The Goat" is an absolutely essential and exceptional done release! For all further info check out www.centurymedia.com

Frank Stöver

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