Morgul Blade - Official Website

Heavy Metal Wraiths

United States Country of Origin: United States

1. Eagle Strike
2. Beneath The Black Sails
3. Heavy Metal Wraiths
4. Frostwyrm Cavalry
5. Widow's Lament
6. Spider God
7. Razor Sharp
8. A Welcoming Hearth
9. Neither Cross Nor Crown
10. The Last In A Line Of Kings

Review by Vladimir on May 26, 2024.

Do you remember that feeling you got as a kid when you first saw the Ringwraith Khamul approach Farmer Maggot and utter the famous words "Shire…Baggins"? It was certainly a spine-chilling moment that still to this day leaves the same impression whenever I watch Fellowship of the Ring. The same can be said with the album that is the topic of this review and the big mark it left on me. US heavy/black metal band Morgul Blade have returned as the Ringwraiths on the black wings of fellbeasts, with their second full-length album Heavy Metal Wraiths, released on April 26th, 2024 via No Remorse Records. If you are either a fan of epic heavy metal or symphonic/melodic black metal, then you are in for a one big adventure you will never regret.

From the darkened corners of The Weathertop, The Ringwraith strikes hard with his Morgul Blade, enchanted in its blackened heavy metal glory, filled with superb melodies, wall-crushing double bass drums, and ghoulish harsh vocals that flow through the heavy metal riffing. What you will get on this album is an epic collection of songs that presents a powerful oldschool heavy metal output fused with melodic black metal, with each track being like its own anthem that burns like the sword of the Witch King of Angmar. Power and melody flow throughout every song like the poison of the Morgul Blade itself, turning you slowly into a goddamn Heavy Metal Wraith like the album title suggests. As the album progresses, the effect of the poison becomes gradually stronger with every minute, whereas the blade itself slowly dissolves into dust as the shard remains trapped in your wound. Aside from all the blackened heavy metal mania, we also have a beautiful ambient instrumental 'A Welcoming Hearth', which sounds like it came straight out of the Ultima and Baldur's Gate video games. This interlude is a nice bridge that fills the gap towards the album's epic finale, with the great battle for Middle Earth coming to play as the impeccable banger 'Neither Cross Nor Crown' opens the black gates. This epic saga, as well as the Third Age, is concluded with another ambient track, 'The Last In A Line Of Kings', that enrolls the credits with this grand sense of closure as the poison of the Morgul Blade reaches your heart, where you finally pass into the Shadow World by becoming a Heavy Metal Wraith.

Morgul Blade made sure to make their songs as epic as possible, presented with some dynamic songwriting ideas that wonderfully combine epic heavy metal and melodic black metal, putting a good use with the best of both worlds. There is a lot of simplicity in the riffs and melodies that the band incorporated throughout the entire album, but I think that's exactly where the magic truly lies, because every song is a pure banger that leaves an incredibly strong mark, much like the wound you get when the Ringwraith stabs you with the Morgul Blade. You can probably tell that the album got me incredibly hyped and engaged from the very get-go, and I won't lie to you that it has successfully got hold of me as soon as the adventure began. For real, it's just impossible to not get immersed into this album's glory with all the fun and excitement it has to offer, giving a nice gift that can be appreciated by fans of two separate subgenres who came together as one. Aside from the fantastic musical output, we also get a gorgeous looking album cover, done by James Bousema, who made a clever use of colors that perfectly fits the art style, and it successfully presents the physical form of the band's musical entity. Production-wise, this album has a very top-notch sound, which perfectly balances an organic style with a more contemporary sound, maintaining an even flow of oldschool and modern.

Heavy Metal Wraiths is a superb and excellent album that turned out to be a major surprise for me, successfully pleasing the heavy metal maniac and black metal enjoyer from within. Morgul Blade gave us an exemplary album where a great risk was definitely worth taking, presented in this wonderful golden frame which proudly displays the final result which proved its worth. Rarely do you come across gems such as these, but when you do, the feeling is so rewarding that you just can't help but praise its monumental output and adore its beauty. If you still haven't checked it out yet, what the hell are you waiting for? This album is made for fans of heavy and black metal that enjoy works of epic fantasy, primarily that of professor and mastermind JRR Tolkien.

Rating: 9.3 out of 10