Shatraugh is without a doubt one of Black Metal’s most productive and decadent minds to ever hail from Finland. With his countless bands (Horna, Sargeist, etc) and different projects, it’s very hard to believe that in each one we are treated to an even more raw and primitive side of his inner psyche. With Mortualia, Shatraugh delivers some of the most raw and crushing Black Metal assaults ever laid down on record.
Originally released back in 2007, Moribund is kind (or evil) enough to make this true gem available to all fans of desolate and disarming Black Metal. Clocking in at 77 minutes (70 minutes of the original release plus a 7 minute bonus track), this album offers the listener quite an obscure and decadent journey into the bowels of hell.
While the objective in Horna is to blow people away with blistering Raw Black Metal, in Mortualia Shatraugh takes a more conservative approach and defiles the listeners with waves of mid-tempo rawness and hellish vocals, chipping away at their souls with every passing minute. The opening track “The Blue Silence” is a very clear example of this, the riffing is very repetitive and ‘slow’, the drumming feels very hypnotic, but the vocals are what makes this thick atmosphere work wonderfully.
Once we hit the 14 minute epic “In Bleak Loneliness”, this song changes things up a bit and goes even more melodramatic and extremely crushing. The simple riffing and repetitive ‘catchy’ structure work amazingly in setting a very somber tone to this release (and we are only 30 minutes in!!!). With “Cold and Grey” the tempo is set a bit higher and this song is somewhat closer to traditional Black Metal than the first two (but still very slow).
“Devoid of Warmth” and “Forgotten Soul” are just there to keep oppressing the listener with painfully slow, but equally crushing, riffs and shrieks of pain. By this point in the album, you are sure to be devoid of all emotion and in a comatose state. The ‘bonus track’ is a nice addition but feels like a complete kick in the nuts after such an emotional and strong release.
If you are looking for an album to crush your soul every morning (after your cereal), you should not miss this re-release of Mortualia’s first release. Shatraugh is a dark force in Black Metal and with this release he shows that Black Metal is not all about brutality and blast beats.
|Band: Mortualia||Album: Mortualia|
|Label: Moribund Records||
Release: June 28th, 2011
|Genre: Black Metal||