Mortuary Drape

Picture of Mortuary Drape

Tolling 13 Knell

Mortuary Drape - Tolling 13 Knell ©2000 AvantGarde Music
1. Dreadful Discovery
2. Liar Jubileum
3. Vertical
4. Not Still Born (the Unborn Plane)
5. Laylah
6. Winged Priestess
7. The Last Supper
8. Birth’s End
9. Defuncts
10. Lantern

For a band that has been around since around 1986 or so, Italy’s Mortuary Drape has proven to be most unprolific over the years, releasing three albums since their inception (not including their much sought-after remasters, demos, and re-releases). However, what they lack in a speedy release schedule they more than make up for with their unique brand of blackened thrash that all the little demons of the metal world could appreciate.

Utilizing two bass players as well as the prerequisite guitars, drums, and voice, Mortuary Drape is out to create an eerily textured atmosphere that is, according to the unintentionally hilarious lyrics and pretentious rubric with which the album was apparently made (included in the liner notes), supposed to convey an affinity towards the occult and other sanctimonious themes. And you know what? The atmosphere the music conveys fully succeeds in belying the silly lyrics and hammy band photos. With the bassists providing most of the melodic undercurrent, the guitarists are free to roam about their instrument, going from scorching, Celtic Frost-inspired leads (read: intentionally sloppy) to thrashy riffing to eerie, haunting arpeggios that evoke Fields of the Nephilim, at times. Vocalist Wildness Perversion (of course, each member has to have a retarded pseudonym), the only original member still with the band, is an accomplished growler. His reverb-heavy rasps and screams simply act as yet another instrument in the mix, with the occasional allusion to Carl McCoy popping up on occasion (usually in conjunction with the aforementioned arpeggiated guitars). However, the bassists are indeed the stars of the mix. Cop Shoot Cop this ain’t, folks. The bass players might as well be guitarists as they both provide their fair share of riffing and diabolical melodies.

Perhaps I can suffice it to say that Mortuary Drape, like most Italian artists, has a sound that is distinctly and undeniably Italian (though not in the “Federico Fellini, Marcello Mastroianni” sense)? One thing is certain, however; they certainly have created an interesting, original album. Methinks you, precious reader, would do well in tracking this one down.

Review by Alec A. Head

Review date: 07/2002

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