MORTUARY DRAPE - Spiritual Independence LP
One of the oldest black metal bands is breaking ten years of silence. In 1986, these Italian hell hounds were hot on the heels of black metal godfathers Venom, Bathory and Mercyful Fate. Thirty years of evil has taught Mortuary Drape to not let a note go to waste on their newest offering, Spiritual Independence. The creeping chords of "Lithany" might be deemed as classic metal when compared to today's black metal. The raspy wretchedness of the backing vocals are the one element that has the most in common with modern black metal, as the blast beats are far and few between. Instead, this album takes you back to when bands like Morbid Angel and Deicide conjured up a deadly serious devotion to the dark side. It was also a time when the emphasis was on songs rather than being an opaque wall of white noise for the sake of being heavy. These songs are crafted with the devil in the details, making every instrument count; even the vocals have more purpose than the obligatory howl younger bands now employ. Their songs effortlessly flow like the river Styx in darker waters. The ritualistic elements bands like Watain took inspiration from are evident. Mortuary Drape lets their songs carry the bulk of their occult theatrics. The band never resorts to hiding behind the blistering speeds of blast beats. They prefer to create a horror movie like atmosphere luring you into their little corner of hell."Spiritual Independence overflows with beautifully creepy sounds. If you like to snuggle up with your goat to old school death or black metal with serious occult trappings, then this is an album not to miss.
Iron Tyrant 2021