Old school? New school?
Don't even go there; Morbus Chron is one of those rare groups that didn't go to school. In a climate of trends and conformity, these guys stand out as one of the most authentic and unique extreme metal bands today. Among the vibrant new wave of Swedish death metal, they are arguably one of the most original bands of all. With their new album ‘Sweven’, Morbus Chron is about to redefine death metal for a new era. They are the real deal, and they are surely here to stay – you’d better start paying attention!
Starting out from humble origins, Morbus Chron was formed by teenagers Robert Andersson (vocals/guitar), Edvin Aftonfalk (guitar) and Stefan Johansson (drums) in Stockholm 2007. Soon joined by Adam Lindmark (bass), their young minds were set on recreating the atmosphere of death metal pioneers such as Autopsy, Death Strike and Death - something they already accomplished on the impressive 2009 demo recording ‘Splendour of Disease’, which reeked of dirty patterns of bygone days. After this, Stefan exited the band and Adam took over the drums while Dag Landin (bass) joined the ranks to complete the line-up.
During 2010, Morbus Chron really started to develop their style, and they were also causing a stir within the metal underground with their unrelenting, yet catchy music. The wonderfully sludgy EP ‘Creepy Creeping Creeps’ led to a contract with Pulverised Records, and what was to become their debut album was recorded in November with Nicke Andersson (Death Breath, ex- Entombed) as producer. When the resulting ‘Sleepers in the Rift’ was finally released in August 2011, it was rightfully praised as a masterpiece of pure death metal of a kind the world hadn't heard in years. With its groovy drum patterns, guttural screams and gritty song structures, the album was even giving Autopsy's comeback album a run for its money.
Unlike what others might have done, Morbus Chron then focused on reconstructing their music, rather than cashing in on their newfound attention. The band rarely played live, only making appearances at a few select festivals such as Live Evil, Killtown and Hell's Pleasure - blowing most of their competition off the stage in the process. It wasn't long until Morbus Chron joined the likes of Napalm Death, Watain, Entombed, Marduk and Deicide to complete Century Media's impressive roster. Just a few years after their formation, Morbus Chron had joined the very elite of the extreme metal world.
Morbus Chron's Century Media debut, the EP ‘A Saunter through the Shroud’, was a revelation upon its release in July 2012, displaying tremendous progression from previous efforts. Instead of playing it safe, sticking to traditional death metal patterns, they had started to transcend the genre to incorporate elements of progressive rock as well as black metal. With patterns oozing of Voivod, Atheist and Darkthrone, as well as Death and Autopsy, Morbus Chron was on their way to something majestic. Possessing unrelenting integrity, the band shunned all trends to go further into the unknown.
As ‘Sweven’ is now about to be unleashed upon the world, Morbus Chron has carved out their very own territory of unorthodox death metal. They have gone far beyond their raw and simple initial style, adding many uncanny acoustic parts to create a nightmare world of utter horror. Together with producer Fred Estby (ex- Dismember), the band has found a warm, yet haunting sound to go with their vision. The resulting soundscapes spread out like a wasteland of death and terror, sending chills down the hardest of spines. Guitar and drum patterns flow in various directions, building cathedrals of darkness in which Robert's tormented vocals echo in agony.
Morbus Chron's evolution is probably even more obvious when it comes to the lyrical themes and the artwork. The entire presentation is constructed as an entity, where all of the songs are linked together in an overall concept of desperation and despair. In addition, renowned psychedelic artist Raul Gonzales has provided 11 individual paintings for the wonderful packaging. His dreamy, yet uncanny visuals add to the overall impression of a fully accomplished work of pure art - the band’s progression since their gore-drenched early days is unparalleled.
While many metal bands claim to be breaking new ground these days, Morbus Chron is one of the few who really is. Musically, as well as artistically, they are miles ahead of most of the competition, and they are definitely among the bands that make extreme metal matter again. There's a new stench of death rising on the horizon...
Smell the coffin.