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MORGENGRAU
MORGENGRAU
Extrinsic Pathway
(Blind God Records)
37:05min

Every so often I like to take a few days off of drinking coffee for the sole purpose of really "feeling it" on that fateful day when I finally end my fast with a cup of the black gold. My most recent stint came to a halt yesterday morning while I listened to MORGENGRAU's "Extrinsic Pathway" and it couldn't have been more perfectly timed. With the jolt to my nervous system came a righteous flow of oxygen, a refreshing burst of clear vitality; metaphors aside, I'm actually referring to the excellent production on this album, which showcases the efforts of all those involved. Speed is a large part of their sound; a backbone of rapid-fire drumming drives the breakneck rhythm and momentum onward while riffs both fuse and interrupt pleasantly while welcoming enthused fist pumping and headbanging as well as floaty interludes of heavy reflection. Individual strengths are utilized and showcased seamlessly and the end result is a Death Metal album where the execution is as equally remarkable as its weight. As if the sound isn't enough indication for you, some quick research will yield an impressive aggregate of resumes. This is definitely not their first rodeo and it shows (Texas band, I had to do it). Ex - IGNITOR frontwoman, Erika Tandy, employs 90s style Death Metal vocals punctuated with both dropped growls and higher pitched enunciated screams. On all fronts, there is a happy medium between the thrashy "I can't get my hair out of my eyes fast enough to realize I've been jettisoned from the pit" moments and the more technical speedy arrangements where your its your brain that's not fast enough. In this particular regard, 'Chemosh Enlighten' and 'Polymorphic Communion' are some real standout examples (not to forget the band's extremely cool cover of SEPULTURA's 'Inner Self' - Frank). They also include plenty of welcomed breaks so the rest of us cavepeople can catch up and start, I don't know, stomping along or something. If I had to pick the real "anthem" on this album, it would undoubtedly be 'Antithetical'. It is straightforward and glutted with infectious riffs that make it impossible to avoid some head nodding at the very least. If your brain is still mostly solids, chances are you can recall the musical elements that got into Death Metal in the first place. The good news is MORGENGRAU does too. I would recommend to all of us lovers of the old school looking to wake the hell up. www.facebook.com/pages/morgengrau/112541632142818

Angelica Jannone

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