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Dead In Spirit
Review by Chris Pratl on February 20, 2023.
Yes, Chicago has its underground that gets criminally ignored in the pantheon of metal hierarchy. As I've said before until people are most assuredly repelled by my words - Chicago is and always has been a force to be reckoned with, so, that aside, Morgue Supplier rises again in the form of a single, 'Dead In Spirit' and helps carry us all on their worthy backs.
What seems to balance on the precipice of blackish death and grind / death, the new track is a strong indicator of just how MS doesn't play games with the music they dole out. There are always smatterings of nuance and atmosphere within the track(s), either conceptually-themed as a whole, or standing alone in a red din of dark that satisfies the palate. I've said it many times, both casually conversing and in print, that MS doesn't tread the accepted 'logistical' lines of death metal; they blur accordingly and find just the right areas to go from slow build-up to still-shattering hellish galloping that tends to be both beautiful in atmospheric panorama and horrifically nightmarish in tempestuous delivery.
'Dead In Spirit' allows for moments - violent upheaval and moody, almost predatory lulls that afford no comfort if you're familiar with the band's musical journey. The vocals via Paul Gillis (also the guitarist with the sinister, threatening tones)) are, as usual, a perfect demonic expulsion of throaty bellowing and guttural dominance, finding perfect symmetry in both and utilizing them at precisely the right times. I've always been blown away by what MS does by way of musical scenery in that they create visuals that, while not uncommon in the better bands, defiantly rely on the imagination of the listener(s) to sell the authenticity, and they do every time without fail. Bassist Stephen Reichelt holds a simmering tone that appears in the subtle forefront in just the right moments and effortlessly darkens the feel. These guys cut no corners, offer no obligatory pretense, and suffer no fools when it comes to their tunes. They do everything correctly, and the addition of drummer Danny Walker rounds out that brutal sound without fail.
Another aspect of MS that has appealed to me (and gotten much stronger since the band's early days) is the absolute ease with which the lyrics and the music collide in both wickedly volatile crescendos and quick, concise lulls, however momentary and necessary. I'm a particular fan of not muddying the water to make it appear deep, and the simplicity of the lyrics is never to be thought of as a detriment; rather, the straight-ahead approach and base visuals are enough to get the points across well, and they do this to near perfection. The lyrical loss of faith here is not your typical diatribe of "woe-is-me-I-hate-gods-and-deities" - that would be much too rhetorical and boring. When you read the lyrics with the music, you realize just how arduous a personal journey this was and is for many people... and why its conclusion was so hauntingly necessary. It's a thinker's manual for enlightenment set to the dreaded heavy metal music that only we demons and ne'er-do-wells understand.
Count yourselves lucky we have that clique to disappear into now and again.
Rating: 9.5 out of 10214