De Contemplanda Morte

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Sweden's shadowy Mortuus first earned their underground black metal stripes with a 7" single in 2005, but with 2007's De Contemplanda Morte album, the duo go one step further and leave an arguably indelible mark on the scene. For you see, although their music positively drips at all times with black metal's incomparably oppressive ambiance, sinister sounds, and deeply occult and nihilistic lyrical themes, the interesting thing about Mortuus is that their typical songs (e.g. "Penetrations of Darkness," "Constant Descent of Seraphim," etc.) actually feature ponderous pacing, lengthy guitar chords, and echoing growls reminiscent of death metal and doom. Even when they do make way for some momentary blastbeat and speed-picking activity, smashing into the rubble of their creations with the rage and force of a typhoon, other cuts like "Astral Pandemonium," "Illumination of God" and "Rebirth in the Sterile Triad of Six," astonishingly remain prevalently focused on lengthy, dread-filled funeral dirges. Which is all well and good (lest you happen to be a close-minded necro-black metal purist with no life), since the album's long-winded climax "Supplication for the Demise of All: Withdrawal into the Lifeless Sanctum" is a real dark gem; evoking such nightmarish images of majestic ruin that it's nefarious rewards alone are well worth the price of admission. Plus, given the fact that their previous 7" single was originally planned to be their first and last release ever, there's little chance of Mortuus passing this way again, so you may as well hear their rather unique perspective before De Contemplanda Morte 666-copy pressing runs out.

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