Morbid Breath emerged in late summer of 2020 as a studio project by guitarist Stefan Carrillo to pay homage to early thrash metal legends. By the end of summer, the project began to take shape and forge its own path once Marcus Eriksson, David Gustafsson and Felix Klaesson joined. The band began instantly writing new material and released their first single entitled, ‘Hellbringer‘, on Halloween of the same year. After spending the entire autumn in the rehearsal space, the four-piece entered the studio in December together with longtime friend Timmy Ternestål to begin the recording of their upcoming debut EP, ‘In the Hand of the Reaper’
Right from the start, you get exactly the kind of thrash vibe Morbid Breath was going for. The title track opens with a chugging riff on the lead guitar while drums, bass and rhythm guitar work together to create a buildup. The tone of the album especially reminds me of an early Slayer song. Though the mix blends everything together in a better way. It’s an mid tempo song but the tight riffs and straightforward thrash beats drive it home throughout all of it. The vocals match the tone of the rest of the music really well. They have some grit in them which greatly complements the ensemble.
Next comes ‘Hellbringer’, the first single Morbid Breath ever released. The intro features the well known galloping rhythm to immediately reel you in. And then comes the main riff. It keeps most of the same rhythm but adds some more harmony to it. The song keeps going on with its groove, until suddenly there’s a drum fill. We get this kind of break, containing some great guitar harmonies, and there’s the solo. I wouldn’t say it’s one of the best or most virtuoso solos I’ve heard. But it does fit in well perfectly with the rest of the song. And isn’t that what a solo’s really supposed to do?
‘Ancient Beasts’ takes us to the darker parts of their sound. The guys switch up their style a little and the song makes you reminisce of the earlier work of Venom. It’s straightforward, hard and aggressive. The solo meanwhile shows that Felix Klaesson also has some great promise in the more melodic style of doing things. The next track, ‘Beneath the Graves’, lowers the tempo and even starts to sound more like groove metal at some points. Right up until the end, when they pick up the pace and race towards the finish.
The final track is called ‘Death Trap’ and it’s a great finale where Morbid Breath takes us one last time through the various aspects of their style. They set a great mood in the intro to follow it up with riffs the way thrash was supposed to be written. It makes great use of tension and release. Fast riffs make way for groovier parts and vice versa. Towards the end, it goes back to a more sinister but driving riff which slowly fades away. And leaves you wanting for more. With this debut EP, Morbid Breath has shown their potential to take various influences and do their own thing with them. It’s a solid promise of what is to come in the future.
Release Date : May 21, 2021
Label : Redefining Darkness Records
- In the Hand of the Reaper
- Ancient Beasts
- Beneath the Graves
- Death Trap