Nice weather and the sun shining through the windows can’t always wipe away the feeling of utter desolation. It doesn’t wipe away the darkness or the depression, and it doesn’t make one feel any less like falling deep into a void, hoping never to return. Not to start this thing totally in the negative or anything.
Morast’s debut full-length “Ancestral Void” is a misery-inducing collection of six songs that wallows in the darkest depths and only push to the surface the ugliest, most ferocious sounds. This German horde of doom/death peddlers have no use for mercy or sugar-coating their message on these six songs. Instead, they stand right over the abyss, describing the horrors beyond and forcing you to wallow in the hopelessness. The band—vocalist F., guitarist J., bassist R, and drummer L—level you with a huge serving of doom that is served alongside helpings of death and black metal, making their sound hard to classify exactly and impossible from which to escape. Before this effort, the band has demo and a split effort with Ultha (containing Bathory covers!), but this is their first full foray into the world, and it’s goddamn terrifying.
“Crescent” opens the record with spacious doom crunch, menacing growls, and a punishing pace that begins the bruising. The track simmers and gives off steam, with the violence hovering in place and the final minutes brutalizing. “Forlorn” has guitars burning and monstrous growls, as the riffs bring pain and scorn. The vocals unleash torment, as the guitars bubble up and add more muscle to the piece, and a filthy, miserable attitude is smeared all over the final moments of the track. “Sakkryfyced” has guitars swimming as the pace heads into a slow grind that is devastating. The band unleashes ugly decimation, though melodies exist in the muck, offering something of a bright light amid the chaos. The pace continues to destroy, with everything bleeding out in madness.
“Compulsion” lets the bass hulk around like a beast, as the vocals wrench, and strange melodies sicken the mind. The majority of the song is grim and harsh, as the vocals act like they’re telling a blood-soaked story that offers no peace. “Loss” sprawls slowly, though heavily, and slowly grunted words mix with riffs that pour gasoline on the fire. The tempo is ridiculously slow, but always deadly, as the back end is smeared out in noise. The closing title cut dumps chunky riffs into the mix, as the music drones and takes on a Triptykon-style vibe. The tempo broils the senses, as F wails, “Standing at the void of no return!” The vocals then go to moaned singing, dripping in misery, as the band unloads the final assault, chugging away until all is snuffed out.
Morast’s nastiness and hellish horrors are delivered in abundance on “Ancestral Void,” and it’s a really eye-opening first record from this band. It’s not always easy to navigate the sea of darkness when it comes to bands reeking in morbidity, but Morast manage to rise above that flood and grab the beacon. They are unsettling and mind-numbing, perfect music for when you want to loosen your grip and fall into nothingness forever.
For more on the band, go here: https://www.facebook.com/morastofficial
To buy the album, or for more on the label, go here: https://www.van-records.de/