I think I should start this review the same way they begin their debut, directly and bluntly. Moral collapse is a very well executed niche work, with a very specific sound that hardly strays out the norm and something you should definetly play if you were looking for some modern technical death metal, in the vein of ABORTED or HOUR OF PENANCE. If that’s not your case, I would suggest you to move on to the next thing.
We can debate for hours whether the extreme metal world really needs so many styles with so many album releases up until the saturation point, but at the moment of truth, there is a demand for every kind of sound imaginable. But this isn’t as simple as giving stuff to the consumer that will actually be able to enjoy because it fits its musical taste. On the contrary, the more versed, the more exigent will the consumer be and more likely to reject something in just a few seconds if it doesn’t meet the standards. Within the technical extreme metal ecosystem, there is always a risk of creating a bunch of guitar neck masturbating exercises instead of proper songs. Being technical for the sake of being technical, in other words.
MORAL COLLAPSE doesn’t have this deffect at all, and it is something they should be proud of. But on the other hand, they have tried so hard to be the perfect students that they have played it way too safe, just taking timid steps toward a wide degree of experimentation. I am not making it up, they are the ones demonstrating how to go beyond the genre’s expectations, but only on a very few precise moments.
It isn’t mandatory to introduce elements from your folklore being from India, trying to avoid the European sound. But, as I mentioned, it is inevitalbe to hear the similarities with ABORTED or DECAPITATED in this debut LP. But, of course, it is kind of a shock to find a saxophone playing oriental scales in the middle of a song that already is a derailing train: «Abandoned rooms of misspelled agony«, The fact that this is positive, could be very well related to the fact that the person writting this lines is a MELECHESH, and similars, fan. But jokes aside, this fusion increases the frenetic generallity of the album and is also a way of separating themselves from the clones.
However, folklore is born and dies there. It doesn’t broaden in any other songs (at least not as explicitly). I get that their goal is to play technical death metal and not some kind of Middle Eastern death metal. MORAL COLLAPSE can’t be blamed for playing it safe, but a being a little bit more unorthodox would have been great.
To continue with this moderate transgresssions, they dare to bring in an avant-garde interlude and outro with no uniform structure, the instruments follow no apparent order… We even get a bit of scatting! Usually interludes and outros are meant to be pleasant passages to let the listener have a break after an intense heavy section… But instead they give vinegar to the thirsty. Even if that could raise some rejection.
If the musical base is filled with mediocrity, ulterior musical experiments will be worthless since no one would pay attention to poor executed music. But what truly is worthy, is making a transition from DECAPITATED inspired material, to the Necroticism era of CARCASS on the last third of the record. From «Sculpting the womb of misery» they stop obsessing over those fast and difficult riffs, and instead they get on with the chugging riffs, slowing down speed and adding some dirtiness to the mix.
Would have they ruin some of the tracks with their unusual choices outside’s tech death box? They must have chosen to start off with less interventionism. A thought I have to share, fantasies and calculations apart. Still, they tend to knock on rarely explored doors, so welcome to whatever the future brings.