In the vein of the uneasy brutality that is black metal, Dark Manthra releases their 2019 album Morbid Chaos. I cannot escape this feeling that and I say this with my tongue placed squarely in my mouth, Black Metal is real metal, or at least, what metal is inspiring to be. If the idea is to create something that generates a sense of urgency and at times a horrible insight into nether worlds, then Black Metal has that in spades, much more than any other genre of metal.
I was assaulted by the first track and it took me some time to adjust to the hallmarks of Dark Manthra’s Black Metal sound, but once I had placed my helmet firmly back on I was ready for what was to come. The brutality is strong with this release. It’s damn raw, savage and strangely honest. Laguado’s vocals take a little while to get used to, but the connection to hate, despair and a general disdain for organised religion are unmistakable. Rueda’s drum work is fantastic and punches through the mix well (which could be due to the snare being a little too prominent in some places). The clean guitar interludes of In Darkness and The Calm in the Lust as well as the intro to Morbida Muerte have welcomed breaks to the brutality of the other tracks and generate some texture to the release.
The nod to the production quality of Black Metal aside, this release is damn strong. The songs are intense and generally well structured. If you’re a Black Metal fan, you need to check this out and chuck it on repeat. Suitable for those whose crosses are upside down for some reason.
Release Year: 2019
Label: Preludio de Metal
Reviewed by Liam Frost-Camilleri