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This is a wooly hat and gloves affair all right. The crackling cold chill that howls persistently throughout this three-track album from Morto is enough to send a snow fox scurrying in search of shelter.
As introductions to Ecuadorian extreme metal goes, this is hard to beat. While the exaggeratedly long song titles such as “Por que en algún momento todo debe terminar, retornar a lo primigenio” don’t give a great deal away, the soundtrack tells the story on its own.
Three lengthy compositions feature, one just under 10 minutes, the other two a few minutes over. The opening sinew-straining blast is not something you’d want to get caught in the slipstream of. It’s a blackened asphalt assault that cascades through, everything pressed flat to the floor during most of the journey, haunting screeches scarcely pausing for stale breath against an unforgiving rhythmic battery.
Remarkably the second track “Deprimente pensamiento en la soledad, anhelando la liberación espiritual” is even more impressive, marginally less fraught, significantly more melodic, injected with a chilling pause when English spoken words tug at your sensory nerves with tales of depressive candour and misery. It finally fades to nothing in simplistic yet stylish tones.
The torturous triumvirate is sealed with immense atmospheric closer “Subsistencia pesimista, explorando el concepto del vacio” which opens up with a humming repetitive rhythmic riff, a little like Belgian warriors Wiegedood, pulling you under the spell into a crumbling crypt of mystery and moroseness. The vocals, screeched and serrated, add the requisite additional level of torturous toxicity as Morto plunge deeper into a well of sonic sadness.
Word is that the recording itself was something of a gruesome experience, certainly for one half of the duo, vocalist MMF. Without dwelling too much on that here, suffice to say that the graphic artwork in part gives you an insight into the bloody surroundings of the recording.
That horror show aside, as depressive and demanding as this release is, Morto have again asserted their reputation as masters of their craft to great effect, shared to a wider audience by rising UK underground label, Black Spark.
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