Morrigan

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Plague, Waste And Death

Morrigan - Plague, Waste And Death ©2001 Barbarian Wrath
1. Plague, Waste And Death
2. This Bitch Will Burn At Night
3. In Memoriam
4. The Arrival Of Dana
5. Straight War
6. Requiem
7. Ashes To Ashes, Lust To Lust
8. Where The Angels Keep Silence

Morrigan formed from the remains of Mayhemic Truth, which disbanded in the late 90s after a series of underground demo releases and seven inch records. The duo, composed of drummer Balor and multinstrumentalist and vocalist Beliar, do nothing more than proudly wear the Bathory influence on their little leather sleeves. In fact, these days it would seem they're doing Bathory better than Quorthon himself. Plague, Waste and Death, the duo's first effort under the Morrigan moniker, is a solid piece of work that provides both a crisp Bathory sound and a modern black metal sensibility. Unlike many artists who follow their influences very closely, Morrigan is able to overcome the Shadowing Effect by simply writing some fantastic songs.

Plague, Waste and Death stands firmly in the territory covered by Bathory's Under the Sign of the Black Mark and Blood Fire Death. From the outset, Morrigan rips into a very energetic, frantic pacing that is reminiscient of early Bathory, coupled with acidic raspy vocals that bitterly spit out the words in clipped syllables. Quorthon never sounded this vile. The majority of the songs here are fast paced and rumbling, very much steeped in the sound of the late 80s. However, the production gives Morrigan a very large presence without compromising the raw feeling they are going for. On songs like "Requiem", Morrigan proves they can also hang with the more loping, epic sounding numbers. Occasionally the music gets a little bit squashed in the production, but overall the record comes across very well.

Considering Bathory itself is providing material that is somewhat lacking these days, it's nice that Morrigan can provide fans of earlier Bathory with more than adequate music to fill the gap. It is likely that Quorthon lacks the wherewithall to play such aggressive, pounding music anymore. While Plague, Waste and Death could occasionally use a little more breathing room in the faster numbers, it is a great debut for Morrigan.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 07/2003

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Enter the Sea of Flames

Morrigan - Enter the Sea of Flames ©2002 Barbarian Wrath
1. The Valley Of The Buried Ships
2. Beyond The Green Hills
3. Thy Armageddon
4. Thy Ravens Lay
5. Come On Bitch, Be My Victim
6. To Honour The Brave
7. In Cold Blood
8. Anam Cara
9. Enter The Sea Of Flames

Morrigan's second album was another platter chock full of Bathory inspired epic, pillaging metal. You know the type. It's music designed to inspire listeners to pillage, plunder and otherwise ride horses through unsuspecting villages. Morrigan specialized in this sort of Viking-esque metal, although it should be noted Enter the Sea of Flames never diverts towards the folk metal world but sticks to the epic Bathory blueprint established in their debut, Plague, Waste and Death. Finntroll, this ain't.

The band's second effort did little to expand upon the debut, but instead plows through another nine tracks of the Bathory inspired heavy metal. As noted in their debut, the band apparently loves Bathory's Blood Fire Death so much that they are quite content on dwelling in that general style for their musical output. The tracks are either the grand, triumphant, epic style or blasting through numbers, which actually is their weakest moment. Morrigan excels at the slower paced songs that allow some dynamics, while the blitzkrieg of the faster numbers mostly sounds blurry and rushed. Or, in the case of the title track, where they mix the two approaches, the faster segments bring the song down a bit.

Morrigan should appeal to those who just couldn't get enough of the classic late 80s Bathory era before that particular project jumped the shark with Requiem and Octogon. Though Morrigan obviously is not trying to win points for originality, there's enough good moments on Enter the Sea of Fire to be of interest to those who just can't get enough of this particular style.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 10/2011

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