Mortuary Drape resembles Emperor in its focus on the more bombastic elements of black metal. Mortuary Drape takes a more heavy metal flavored take on the genre, similar to Root or Master’s Hammer.
The speed metal influenced riffing which dominates most of this album lends further credence to that comparison. The mix is unusual for the time as well, in that it deemphasizes the guitars in favor of the bass and vocals. Guitars are still present, but thinner than one would expect from speed metal and not trebly enough to make one think of black metal.
Church bells, a pipe organ, female vocals, and other unconventional elements are implemented, but not for the sake of these things; Mortuary Drape attempt to weave these elements into their music honestly. For the most part it works, though sometimes there are confused sections which are blatant (building/releasing tension at awkward times, staying on a particular riff a bit too long, the intro “My Soul” which goes on for a minute or so more than it should)….then again this album derives some of its charm for those very reasons.
An interesting influence appears to be movies such as Susperia when listening to the orchestral intros and interludes. This contrasts well with the theatrical atmosphere of the songs, giving the feeling of a sort of morbid operetta. Though not as essential as the Norwegian classics, this is still a strong, if not somewhat peculiar, album that while sometimes shaky is a good choice for those interested in the different angles of second wave black metal.
Tags: Black Metal, Heavy Metal, mortuary drape, review