Morkera - Official Website


Croatia Country of Origin: Croatia

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Buy on: Bandcamp
Type: Full-Length
Release Date: May 12th, 2023
Label: Independent
Genre: Black, Death
1. Blind Obedience
2. Torrid Host
3. Bethoweth
4. Intercessors
5. Scourge
6. Swelled Cracks
7. Degradation Wage
8. Evaporation

Review by Ves on May 30, 2023.

My first review for MetalBite was of the stellar debut album by the mysterious Croatian project Morkera. I gushed over the thick tones, dense mix and downright suffocating atmosphere, and Entangled Excavations was handily my most replayed album of 2022. A few weeks ago, the band released their second album, Aggravations. It feels like I've been waiting for this for far longer than 10 months, the anticipation and hype might've gotten the best of me.

The contrast between Aggravations and its predecessor is immediate and possibly stark at first, while keeping the core of the sound Morkera started developing on the first album and developing it further. From the first scream, to the final fade out, there is a layer of pure wrath and hate wrapping each song, much like the agony and despair of the debut. This is even more apparent when you read the lyrics which in a straightworward way express the dissatisfaction with many facets of today's society, death of individuality, and the dependence on technology and social media - or at least that's what I gather from them. Another jarring difference, which the band proudly announced on their social media some days before the release, is the absence of instrumental tracks. While I thoroughly enjoyed the ones from Entangled Excavations, the feel and context of the second album does not lend itself to vocalless tracks as well. Quite the opposite in fact, the vocals sound considerably harsher and more aggressive than on the debut, slotting perfectly into each track. The riffs have kept their slightly otherworldly vibe from the first album, with an excellent diversity of techniques across each song. This also applies to the song arrangements, which manage to keep you on your toes while maintaining the intensity of their assault on your senses. Speaking of assault, the drumming is still incredible, from the blast beats and rapid double bass notes across the album, to the tasty breaks and shuffles like in the opening moments of 'Torrid Host' or the transitions in 'Swelled Cracks'

I do have to address a potential grievance fans of the first album might have with this one, which is the production. Where the first album had this simultaneously huge but suffocating sound, very much in line with modern extreme metal mixing and mastering practices, Aggravations sounds much more raw and crunchy. My initial reaction to the sophomore was that of confusion as to what had happened to the band's sound but, the more you let the album go on, the more you realise that the mixing is perfect for the context and message of the album. Having listened to the Aggravations a double digit number of times over the past 2 weeks, I wouldn't have it any other way, especially when you hear the throat shredding screams at the end of 'Degradation Wage'.

To no one's surprise, I am in love with Aggravations. Upon first blush, it is a completely different album from Entangled Excavations, and does a perfect job of keeping Morkera from writing themselves into a corner genre-wise. On a slightly deeper level, this album feels like a sequel and part of something greater that the band is building towards, which I am more than excited for.

Rating: 9.5 out of 10