Sunday, 15 April 2012

MORGOTH - Odium (1993)

01  Resistance
02  The Art Of Sinking
03  Submission
04  Under The Surface
05  Drowning Sun
06  War Inside
07  Golden Age
08  Odium

'Odium' is the second full-length release by the German band Morgoth. It was released on May 25th 1993 by Century Media Records. The production was handled by Dirk Draeger, recorded and mixed at Woodhouse Studios in Hagen, engineered and mixed by Siggi Bemm.

The band was formed in 1985 by Rüdiger Hennecke (drums) and Carsten Otterbach (guitar) in the town of Meschede. Originally, the name Cadaverous Smell was used and the band played a type of grindcore/noise. In 1985 the band settled on the name Morgoth when singer and bass-player Marc Grewe joined the band. The name was derived from the epithet of the original dark lord Melkor in J.R.R Tolkien's Middle-earth Legendarium. In February 1991, the first actual full-length album was recorded in the Woodhouse studios, titled 'Cursed'. To promote the album the band supported Kreator and Biohazard on a US tour and another European tour with Immolation and Massacre. Most of the band then relocated to Dortmund.

The production of 'Odium' is actually pretty good. It’s heavy, it’s aggressive, it’s in your face and it does suit the album. I must admit that ‘Submission’ is not really a great song and there are parts in ‘The Art of Sinking’ that are quite dull. But inconsistency is to be expected with an experimental album like this. I thought that this may be a transitional album in the band's career, but the next one was again a different style. So 'Odium' turned out to be the only industrial death metal album Morgoth have released so far. The stand-out here is easily ‘Under the Surface’. This is true industrial death metal. The main riff is nothing less than supreme, powerful, hypnotising and the vocals are really good strong. A promotional video was also shot for this track and it is one of the best early 90s extreme metal clips around. As for Grewe's vocals, it's not so much the quality of his voice that succeeds, as his timing, bursting intensity, and passionate delivery that sends chills up your spine. The guitars and drums here are also very satisfying to the ear, not overly technical - quite simplified, yet they constantly envoke the sound of heavy cannon fire.

'Odium' probably constitutes Morgoth's most memorable album, and certainly their last, fully committed effort as a band before the seeds of discontent set in. I'd say it's one of the more original sounding efforts of the early 90s scene and definitely worth checking out.

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