Morvigor – Tyrant (2017) REVIEW

The more times I listened to Morvigor’s sophomore album the less I understood it, the more disparate my impressions became and it seemed that ‘Tyrant’ retained less meaning as it soaked into my mind. Odd, because their debut full-length ‘A Tale of Suffering’ from 2014 couldn’t have been more blatant in it’s inherent value. It was essentially progressive rock tropes, most of them less than gentle, pulsed through hissing folk/black metal aesthetics. No, they weren’t Enslaved necessarily but it was a level of amateur folk/melodic metal familiarity that I knew where it meant to go. On ‘Tyrant’ the post-modernist has rung a first time and created a heavy metal influenced melodic black metal album that is shapeless as often as it is gratingly in-your-face.

After so many hours with the latest Taake album I think ‘Tyrant’ makes more sense conceptually as rock influences collide with expanding interests. The big riff that punctuates the opening track “No Repentence” acts as a grand King Crimson sort of de-shuttering, letting in the aggressively rollicking almost post-hardcore abandon of ‘Tyrant’ fling itself at you. But if we’re calling this modernist progressive melodic black metal then I’d like an explanation for the late-era Windir feeling of “The Martyr’s Ascension” and the nearly atmo-black/post-metal curling of the fifteen plus minute “Blood of the Pelican”. Either ‘Tyrant’ is genius level meandering within genre interest, or Morvigor is successfully trend-hopping across my skull.

By the time the title track clangs in with it’s noise rock riffing bass I’m bought in. I know that this might seem like a hipster black metal record at face value but after over three weeks sitting with ‘Tyrant’ it has offered a beguiling sonic roller-coaster to accompany my oft-unsure feelings towards it. The vocals could use some smoothing or doubling in the mix, and some of the interludes are arbitrary, but all in all this is an achievement in black metal that is unafraid to go anywhere it pleases. That boldness of exploration offers a set of giant steel balls in the face of orthodoxy; exactly what black metal needs now and then to stay interesting and relevant.

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Artist Morvigor
Type Album
Released November 11, 2017
BUY/LISTEN on their Bandcamp! Follow Morvigor on Facebook
Genres
Melodic Black Metal
Atmospheric Black Metal

Shatter the chains in pieces. 3.5/5.0

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