Morbus Chron - Sweven | Review

I’m rarely compelled to live and breathe an album, to opt for total immersion. Sweven is that kind of album, demanding obeisance and awe. Morbus Chron have found a new voice that belies their age, that speaks in tongues of ancient, effortless, and flawless malevolence. On their sophomore LP, the band have blown past the crude and contagious death metal of their debut. They have, in fact, blown past all reckoning.

Steeped in primordial metal exaltation, Sweven is an album that will suffer from attempts at categorization. There are still shreds of death at hand, but much of the material is metal, pure, simple, and unadulterated. Amidst this sweet mother lode of sinister riffs, I hear the primal sensibilities of Judas Priest circa Sad Wings of Destiny. In cascading, somber tremolations, I hear the majestic mastery of Dissection. Bits of hoary Celtic Frost creep into the guitar tone. Somber melodies speak of Maiden made evil. Crescendos of thrashing thunder threaten to Ride the Lightning.

Sweven is rather fearlessly filled with clean guitars. Gorgeous classical inclinations undulate and sway in a fathomless abyss. Many passages recall the boundless, unfettered output of a young Opeth, before pretension and obfuscation set in.

The pacing on Sweven is marvelous and multifarious. Cadences both crushing and sedate are represented, driven throughout by magnificent drumming. Despite the album’s wide-ranging sonic sentiments, the vocals speak only in tones of harrowed emptiness. The lyrics tell tales of abstract astral journeys and dreams of otherworldly grandeur. It all makes perfect sense; you’ll see.

I don’t see any reason to attempt to escape from Sweven’s grasp. I suspect I’ll remain in its sway when the year ends. Revel in Morbus Chron’s masterful madness.

Atanamar Sunyata

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Atanamar Sunyata is a software engineer by trade and a herder of cats by calling. He lives in Peekskill, NY, with his wife and three man cats. When the inspiration strikes, Atanamar spouts metal hyperbole for Scratch the Surface, Metal Bandcamp, and his own blog, sunyata – mindful of metal. You can also find him on Twitter @AtanamarSunyata and Facebook.