Among Majestic Ruin

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Orange County's Morgion defied all manner of geographical profiling by conjuring up dour images of ashen skies and blackened earth from the comfort of their pleasantly temperate So-Cal home base. It may have taken some time (three years to be exact), but the persistent quintet finally found a home for its aptly named debut album, Among Majestic Ruin, when the fine folks at Relapse Records came calling in 1996. And even though it contained a mere five songs totaling a little over half an hour in length, Among Majestic Ruin certainly qualifies as a proper long-player based on the hulking musical mass contained within. The gloriously sluggish and downcast mood is quickly established by the epic opening tandem of "Relic of a Darkened Past" and "In Ashen Tears (Thus I Cry)" (each weighing in at a colossal eight minutes), and along with ensuing highlights such as "Travesty" and the impossibly dreary "Basking Under a Blacksun Dawning," their almost oppressive dirges are offset perfectly by atmospheric synthesizers. In contrast with Dwayne Boardman and Bobby Thomas' heavyset, grinding riffs and Jeremy Peto's menacingly ugly growls, these keyboard backdrops also conjure a perverse beauty only achieved by the highest quality doom/death metal bands out there. And with Among Majestic Ruin, Morgion effectively stamped their membership cards into the doom/death elite, with even greater music still to come on their triumphant sophomore album, Solinari.

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