Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Morpheus Descends - Ritual of Infinity [1992]

While my personal favorite year for death metal would be 1991, there were still plenty of fantastic releases after the year that saw numerous landmark releases. One such release was New York's own Morpheus Descends' debut full-length "Ritual of Infinity." There's a reason why these guys were one of the most popular bands in the New York scene (a pretty prolific scene in its own right, though not as much so as Florida) and that's because their music was fucking brutal. And, no, I don't mean brutal as in Suffocation or Cryptopsy kind of brutal, I mean in more of a relentless thrashing way much like Malevolent Creation, Solstice (US) and Sinister were doing. A simple way of putting things would be to say they were the death metal equivalent of a band like Demolition Hammer or Morbid Saint, absolutely crushing and destructive. 

The majority of the riffs on "Ritual of Infinity" gravitate towards incredibly heavy midpaced riffs which are more than capable of breaking some unwilling soul's neck, as well as some lethal tremolo bursts. There's no way you could listen to "Corpse Under Glass" and not headbang, it just doesn't happen, especially with the awesome riffs that are beyond heavy and catchy. You throw in some very heavy, yet typical death metal vocals with the amazingly-toned bass and violent drumming, and that's a recipe for absolute havoc. The opening sequence on "Enthralled to Serve" is pure devastation, and I can't recall many other simple tremolo sections being as memorable or punishing as this one. "Residual Kill" shows off the band's ability to play some slower paced music, but only for a while before it turns into a thrashing onslaught of immense proportions. Honestly, not much more could be said about "Ritual of Infinity" and Morpheus Descends' near masterpiece. All of the songs are just great mixes of aggresive riffs, abrasive vocals, and a stellar rhythm section. There's no intent on sounding evil like other death metal bands, and there's surely no intent on showing off some technical ability, this is just unbridled insanity.

"Corpse Under Glass"
"Enthralled to Serve"
"Ritual of Infinity"

Final Rating
Almost-A-Masterpiece [8.9/10]