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Morpheus Descends - Ritual of Infinity
Review: The original masters of New York style death metal, Morpheus Descends put together rolling heavy counterpoint riffs with techniques of extreme speed metal involving percussive rhythm from muffled or double-picked power chords. Tone-centric riffing moves through doomy passages to fast-strummed directional riffing in the style of Incantation, then the song returns to double-hit staging of counterpoint vocal rhythm, where a thesis in structure and lyric rides a rhythmic space and its antithesis returns with a double emphasis evenly countering that space, delivering in vocal and rhythm fulfillment of tension.
In its proximity to the raw fusion of death metal from previous metal and punk genres this music is rough-edged and sometimes overly demonstrative, but its affinity for subtle melodicity in complementing modal riffs makes this music epic and hopeful in the breadth of its tonal and temporal space. A good sense of presentation, including introduction and pacing, allows a wide range of phrases and riff fragments to be used in both rhythmic and structural senses to enforce continuity as layers written in the same basic harmonic and rhythmic spaces.
Guttural vocals at a colonic resonance usher these explosive discharges of phrase along a cadence and introduce the alterations in riff and riff technique which texture this music professionally. Many of the patterns familiar from the work of bands such as Suffocation or Baphomet reflect the percussive drilling of power death metal riffing alternating with the ripping drone of uniquely evocative changing riff texture as part of the overall song structure. Like much early death metal, an appreciation for slow and sludgey chromatic riffs with plenty of double bass provides a rigid foundation against which to build melody. Unlike most contemporaries, however, this music can have character and a constant sense of motion in structure that enables continuity to dissonant, postmodern, thunderous music.