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Feel Sorry For the Fanatic

Morgoth - Feel Sorry For the Fanatic ©1996 Century Media
1. This Fantastic Decade
2. Last Laugh
3. Cash...
4. ...And Its Amazing Consequences
5. Curiosity
6. Forgotten Days
7. Souls on a Pleasuretrip
8. Graceland
9. Watch the Fortune Wheel
10. A New Start

Morgoth spent most of their existence as one of the solid, dependable early death metal bands that still retained a reasonable amount of thrash influence while not getting painfully caught up in either the guttural gore approach or stringing together a series of riffs thinking that somehow makes a band technically adept. They had released a pair of EPs and a pair of full length albums by 1993, establishing themselves as a reasonably decent act. But apparently sometime after they finished working on 1993's Odium, they put on a Killing Joke album or two and realized it was high time for a change in their musical approach.

By the time 1996's Feel Sorry For the Fanatic was released, one must question how many times Morgoth had listened to and assimilated Killing Joke's Pandemonium album from 1994. From the vocal approach to the general injection of electronics (which are actually done very moderately and quite tastefully), Morgoth had embraced the spirit of the best of Killing Joke's heavier side. Songs like "Last Laugh" or "Graceland" make one wonder if Jaz Coleman had wandered into the studio by mistake before departing again for Iceland. But regardless of the obvious influence, what makes Feel Sorry For the Fanatic a surprising and enjoyable release is that Morgoth was able to shake off their previous approach and come up with a collection of hook filled, catchy songs. While Odium was a decent death metal endeavor, they had essentially one songwriting trick up their sleeve and Feel Sorry For the Fanatic completely renovated their style. Morgoth even throws in a short, full-on electronic number that undoubtlly confounded death metal purists. Perhaps those were the fanatics they were feeling pity for, since certain peopel are fans of a genre, not fans of music.

If you at all are a fan of Killing Joke's heavier albums, this is an album that should be tracked down. It features enough solid songwriting, good musicianship and song variety to satisfy many sets of ears. It definitely seems to be one of the more overlooked "rather good" releases of the 90s that should be given a second chance.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 06/2013

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