Morvigor - Tyrant - (7.5/10)
Published on December 30, 2017
Tyrant is the second full length album from Dutch progressive/melodic black metal outfit Morvigor. Despite hailing from the Netherlands, Morvigor’s sound is heavily saturated with an old school Swedish sound; though, admittedly, Morvigor does put their own, erm, unique spin on things. Regardless, Tyrant clocks in at forty-seven minutes over eight tracks (four of which are intro/interlude/outro), so one should assume Morvigor isn’t delivering your standard, everyday Dissection worship.
The album kicks off with a fairly innocuous introduction, before delivering strange, off-key guitar picking and one hell of a sloppy, punk-ish riff. It’s a terrible start to the album, honestly, because the first three minutes go absolutely nowhere. Fortunately, things kick into high gear from out of nowhere, with a feisty, almost rollicking beat taken from the Carpathian Forest wave of black metal which merges into extremely punchy and catchy thrash-tinged riffs a la Old Man’s Child which eventually merges into a melodically charged Swedish black metal sound. Morvigor churns through these base elements during the proper songs, with some pretty cool, meaty riffing (listen to the circular pattern during “The Martyr’s Ascension”), though the momentum is occasionally lost during the strange, often-meandering interludes.
While one can appreciate that Morvigor was attempting to do something different, the slow building intros and atmospheric sludge inspired percussion at the beginning of the monolithic “Blood of the Pelican”, some movements often sound like the band was trying to pound a square peg into a round hole (though that crusty, Nox Vomica-tinged bit that starts about five and half minutes is tasty). Thankfully, the intros and interludes give way to some stellar riffing and really cool melodic black metal, but sitting through Neurosis-length introductions to hear it can be tiresome at best. Thankfully, the band always comes back to riff-centric, melodic black metal, which is, frankly, what they’re best at.
It’s hard to look at an album like Tyrant in a linear fashion. Sure, this album fits best somewhere in the melodic black metal camp, but the band’s frequent jaunts into progressive-ish rock tinged, gargantuan length intros, off-key passages and offbeat nature push Morvigor into the fringes outright weirdness. While one can appreciate that Morvigor wanted to push the boundaries a bit, perhaps trimming the fat might have resulted into a more powerful album. Regardless, the band’s ability to constantly shift gears and keep a fifteen minute black metal track interesting is certainly commendable. The black metal contained within is really, really cool; it just requires some patience and some digging, so grab a shovel because this could be a long ride.