Mortuary Drape – Spiritual Independence (2014)

mortuary drape spiritual independence

Article by Corey M.

Having enjoyed Mortuary Drape‘s Tolling 13 Knell for its sadistically grim attitude expressed through pointed, inventive death metal instrumentation, I had some positive expectations for their new effort Spiritual Independence even though Buried in Time did not catch my ear in the same way.

One of the first obviously noticeable changes in the band’s style is a further streamlining of the music, made possible by mimicing the pacing of classic-era speed metal bands at their smoothest, often switching between thrashy drums over chunky punk-ish riffs and slower (but not groovy) stretches of ringing chords as the main way of shifting dynamics between segments within songs. A lead guitarist has been added to the line-up since the last album, and his solos are silky smooth while being exciting and fairly original given that each are written in a fairly boxy, speed metal style. Flashy and highly emotional guitar solos in extreme metal are usually either really good (e.g. Don’t Break the Oath, Rust in Peace, SammathTriumph in Hatred, early Death and Pestilence) or really bad (CarcassNecroticism), but Mortuary Drape’s fall somewhere in the sparsely inhabited wasteland of the middle.

This falls in line with the rest of the band’s performance on this album; well-structured, consistent, effective use of non-guitar sounds, never really boring, but never righteously hateful enough to evoke a feeling of true darkness – something like video footage that has been set up to look like a convincingly real catastrophe, but too cleanly-presented and therefore obviously not actual footage of a real catastrophe. Overall this is a satisfying and fun listen, but I would strongly recommend checking out a stream before dedicating to a purchase, especially if this band never tickled your fancy in the first place.

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17 thoughts on “Mortuary Drape – Spiritual Independence (2014)”

  1. Rainer Weikusat says:

    Hmm … I’ve listened to two of these solos and they were both ear candy. I can’t judge if this is complicated to play as I’m not a guitar player (it probably is), but the Chthe’ilist guy plays more interesting stuff than that (not supposed to be ‘the lower bar’, just something that’s pretty small and unknown).

  2. This music is so fucking gay. Why can’t you review true fucking Metal? Something like Dark Funeral’s latest ├ílbum which is real darkness and stuff or Ungod’s recent one which is incredible darkness and stuff?

    1. Dark Funeral are one of the gayest metal bands of all time. Dark Funeral are so gay, they make Cynic look like Malevolent Creation. Dark Funeral make Hoest seem as straight as Faust.

      1. OliveFox says:

        I think this guy must be mayor of troll town. But he got me wondering, who the hell are UNGOD? I thought he was talking about that MORGOTH album. But, apparently not. Any of their albums worth a damn?

        1. Rainer Weikusat says:

          German black metal band apparently. I’ve briefly listened to the first track when this was mentioned for the first time and “It sounded like black metal” (cawing vocals, through-running blastbeats, the usual melodic stuff going with that). Someone who’s into this might like it. Minus the drumming, I don’t.

        2. Kermit the Fucking Fuckface Frog says:

          Circle of the Seven Infernal Pacts and the following EP. After that I not really.

          1. Johan P says:

            Especially the fullength debut is awesome. I wish there were more records that sounded like this one. Any suggestions?

          2. morbideathscream says:

            I actually have that ungod ep somewhere. I need to dig it out, haven’t listened to it in fucking years. Never picked up circle of seven infernal pacts though.

  3. morbideathscream says:

    All the witches dance and secret sudaria are the bands finest efforts. Along with into the drape and mourn path ep’s. The necromancy demo is also fucking evil sounding. Probably the best band to emerge from the catacombs of Italy. Though their new material isn’t exceptionally bad, it is a step down from their glory days of rituals and necromancy.

    1. C.M. says:

      Shamefully I admit to not having checked out either the demo or EP before reviewing this new album, a technicality that will shortly be remedied. And though their first two albums are very good, Tolling 13 Knell is not to be trifled with.

      1. Johan P says:

        What do you think of the bass playing on Tolling…? I remember it as pretty good for a metal band, although it was years since I listened to the album.

        1. C.M. says:

          All of the instrumentation on T13K is solid and fundamental/necessary, never over-reaching or flashy, which is one of the downfalls of Spiritual Independence. I do like that MD utilize the range of the bass more than your average extreme metal band. Just one of their many methods of achieving a broad sound that feels like a setting and a story rather than just guitars and drums.

  4. Drukhpa says:

    I see what they’re doing,I just think someone could do it better.

    1. C.M. says:

      See: Don’t Break the Oath for what is basically a better version of this album without the speed/black/death aesthetics.

  5. morbideathscream says:

    I have the opposite issue, I have yet to check out tolling 13 knell. I do have a couple of friends that claim it to be their finest effort. I think it’s actually the only one I haven’t listened to by the drape. I didn’t like buried in time and didn’t get into spiritual independence neither. My friend bought their split with necromass, I gave it a listen and thought the mortuary drape side sounded weak.

    1. morbideathscream says:

      My comment was meant be a reply to Corey’s comment.

    2. C.M. says:

      T13K is the last good album. The next one is a sharp decline in quality and this recent one is less bad but not as powerful as T13K, I would only recommend it as an introduction to the band for people who are not much into extreme metal.

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