Wednesday, November 9, 2011

MORTA SKULD - Through The Eyes Of Death CD Compilation review

MORTA SKULD - Through The Eyes Of Death CD Compilation
Relapse Records
Genre: Death Metal
Rating: 3/5

Whenever a musical genre revival comes around there's the mandatory reissue of lost nuggets from the past unearthed and repackaged by labels for unsuspecting listeners willing to fork out cash for anything resembling what they're into. Since OSDM (Old School Death Metal) is seeing an extraordinary comeback these past few years with new bands covering well worn left hand paths, it's no surprise that some labels are digging up what they can for posterity and a few bucks. So far this year I've heard a couple decent reissues. The best one so far being DEATH STRIKE's Fuckin Death CD reissue put out by Dark Descent Records. MORTA SKULD were one of many Midwest Death Metal acts who in the early nineties tried to show the USDM scene that it just wasn't all about bands from Florida or NY. They put out a handful of releases in the nineties (their debut 'Dying Remains' from 1993 being the best out of the three) but at the end of the decade decided to change their name as well as musical style in an attempt to follow the burgeoning nu-metal trend. I'm not gonna even go into that part of their career but here the good people at Reprise decided to combine MORTA SKULD’s first demos ‘Prolong the Agony’ and ‘Gory Departure’, both recorded in 1990, into one nice package. They also included with it two extra surprises tacked onto the end.

If you're a fan/collector of Midwest USDM then you probably have both of this band's early demo material, either original copies on cassette or downloaded from some website that deals in all of the obscure. I'd say if you have the band's full length releases, but never heard their demos, then this is a decent find since there's no retreading on Through The Eyes Of Death. Upon getting this in for review I immediately went to the final two 'extra' tracks on here. The first one being the ultra rare and unreleased "Eternal Suffering" which was recorded for a single to be released by Earache but never happened. The second cut being MORTA SKULD’s cover of "Metal Church". Both cuts defy the band's other material style since "Eternal Suffering" sounds like something OBITUARY left behind on the studio floor while recording 'Cause of Death' while the METAL CHURCH cover is spot on except for the death growled vocals. MORTA SKULD’s original demo material wasn't far off from what OBITUARY was doing with some added DEATH influence to boot as well as some thrash riffage. In fact MORTA SKULD at times sounds like a missing link between the Floridian and Midwest DM scenes on their first demo ‘Prolong the Agony’. It's on their second one where they show some originality. Personally I find this much better than their full length material especially on cuts like "Gory Departure", "Senseless Killing" and "Prolong the Agony".



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