May 1, 2015

Album review of FROM BLACKENED CRYPTS – Morpheus Descends

5 stars out of 5

In the early 1990’s, Middletown, NY’s Morpheus Descends was tearing up the underground Death Metal scene, opening for established acts like Obituary and Death and playing tons of shows and festivals. By the late 90’s the Death Metal scene had downsized considerably and Morpheus Descends had disappeared. All of their recorded material (THE RITUAL OF INFINITY, CHRONICLES OF THE SHADOWED ONES, THE HORROR OF THE TRUTH) became hard to come by since they had gone out of print and in some cases the record labels (JL America) had went belly up. In 2013, the band re-formed and signed a deal with Dark Descent Records to put out FROM BLACKENED CRYPTS, a career spanning boxed set of all of their material to date. We hardcore old school deathmetallers are damn lucky, because this boxed set is a fucking amazing brutal journey to the golden age of Death Metal and back! Let’s begin down the dark path…

The set is composed of 2 CDs and 1 DVD. The first CD kicks off with 2 new crushing tracks, “Oozing from the Urn” and “The Kings Curse”. Both of these songs are extremely heavy New York style death metal with a hint of doom, great stuff. Think Incantation meets Cannibal Corpse with a bit of Benedicition. Pace is a deliberate mid-range to slow speed with some occasional faster parts, awesome guttural vocals from Craig Campbell and a bludgeoning assault of guitars, bass, and drums. Next we get my personal favorite, the full RITUAL OF INFINITY album in all its fucking Death Metal glory! Raw, nasty, catchy Death Metal with killer vocals from Jeff Reimer (RIP brother)! My favorite tracks are the classic “Corpse Under Glass”, “Proclaimed Creator” (how’s this for a chorus – KILL SUFFER CREATE DISMEMBER REBORN REANIMATE!), “Enthralled to Serve,” “Accelerated Decrepitude”, and of course the title track! The box set is worth the price just to get RITUAL OF INFINITY, but there is so much more here too! Even rarer that RITUAL, up next is the ADIPOCERE ep from when the band was known as Morpheus. These songs are a bit faster and the vocals (Craig Campbell) are lighter and reminiscent of ALTARS OF MADNESS era David Vincent. All of these are great songs; my favorite is “Tirformed Limbs”. Earlier versions of “Accelerated Decrepitude” and “Trephanation” which would later be re-recorded for RITUAL also appear here. The last track is an early demo version of “Cairn of Dumitru”, which would appear on CHRONICLES OF THE SHADOWED ONES. More on that in a sec!

Disc 2 starts off with 1994’s CHRONICLES OF THE SHADOWED ONES ep, and it is much slower and doomier than the majority of the material on the first disc. Songs are longer and structures are more complex. Jeff Reimer is the growler for these tunes and he creates a creepy, ominous vibe. Sam Inzerra’s drumming really shines here, showing a variety of tempos and beats. After CHRONICLES we get THE HORROR OF THE TRUTH ep, which features Deicide-esque blended vocals from Nokturnel’s Tom Stevens. Music is mid paced to slow, lead heavy and brutal. The remainder of disc 2 is demos, rehearsals, and a 2013 live version of “Corpse Under Glass”. The demos are a great way to hear how songs developed and it is awesome to have a comprehensive collection for Morpheus Descends.

The live DVD THE VISAGE OF MALADY includes tons of killer vintage live footage from various shows. Audio is mono but the sound quality is good, the band sounds here exactly as I remember them sounding in 1993. Also included are an interview recorded for cable TV, a broadcast of the show Mind Melt which featured the band, a brief MTV clip on Death Metal, an interview with the artist that created the RITUAL OF INFINITY album cover art, and more. The DVD is a great trip down memory lane for any deathmetaller that lived through the 90s and also an enjoyable viewing for younger metalheads.

Dark Descent did a great job with the packaging of the boxed set. You get a digipack that holds the 2 CD’s, a full color booklet with lyrics, album covers, and liner notes, the DVD in a separate jewel case with a cover, and an 11x 17 FROM BLACKENED CRYPTS poster. All of this fits neatly in a black cardboard box with the Morpheus Descends logo emblazoned on the front. Sound quality of the CDs is good but it does not sound like they have been remastered. Overall a great value at $28.

Metal For Everyone gives Morpheus Descends’ FROM BLACKENED CRYPTS our highest rating. This is a great collection of underground Death Metal and the presentation is perfect. Highly recommended for fans of old school Death Metal like Baphomet and Cannibal Corpse.

 

Disc 1:

  1. Oozing From The Urn
  2. The King’s Curse
  3. The Way Of All Flesh*
  4. Corpse Under Glass*
  5. Immortal Coil*
  6. Trephanation*
  7. Proclaimed Creator*
  8. Accelerated Decrepitude*
  9. Submerged In Adipocere*
  10. Enthralled To Serve*
  11. Ritual Of Infinity*
  12. Trephanation**
  13. Accelerated Decrepitude**
  14. Triformed Limbs**
  15. Stigmatic Crucifixion**
  16. Residual Kill**
  17. Cairn Of Dumitru ‘93

 

Disc 2:

  1. The Cruciform Hills***
  2. Cairn Of Dumitru***
  3. Autumn Bleed***
  4. Signs Of Gehenna***
  5. Moupbo Alde Ferenc Yaborvo***
  6. Begging For Possession****
  7. Valley Of Undead War****
  8. Shaitan The Unborn
  9. The Horror Of The Truth****
  10. Corpse Under Glass ’13 Live Reunion
  11. Accelerated Rehearsal ‘90
  12. Triformed Limbs Rehearsal ‘90
  13. Trephanation Rehearsal ‘90
  14. Accelerated Rehearsal ‘90
  15. The Cruciform Hills Pre-Recording ‘94
  16. Residual Kill Rehearsal ‘91
  17. Autumn Bleeds ‘93

 

Current Lineup:

Craig Campbell: Vocals

Sam Inzerra: Drums

Rob Yench: Guitars

Ken Faggio: Bass

 

*RITUAL OF INFINITY with Jeff Reimer on vocals, Sam Inzerra on drums, Rob Yench on guitar, Steve Hanson on guitar, and Ken Faggio on bass

**ADIPOCERE with Craig Campbell of vocals, Sam Inzerra on drums, Rob Yench on guitar, Steve Hanson on guitar, and Ken Faggio on bass

***CHRONICLES OF THE SHADOWED ONES with Jeff Reimer on vocals, Sam Inzerra on drums, Rob Yench on guitar, Bryan Johnson on guitar, and Andy Newton on bass

****THE HORROR OF THE TRUTH with Tom Stevens on vocals, Sam Inzerra on drums, Rob Yench on guitar, Andy Newton on bass

 

Dark Descent Records

http://www.darkdescentrecords.com/

 

To buy FROM BLACKENED CRYPTS

http://www.darkdescentrecords.com/store/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=5453&zenid=USfMTXFmBfNq99YQtKHXm2

 

Morpheus Descends contact:

https://www.facebook.com/morpheusdescends

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