Morbid Sacrifice - Ceremonial Blood Worship

Godz ov War Productions deliver another slab of filthy, grim Blackened Death Metal with the 2nd album from Italy’s Morbid Sacrifice. “Ceremonial Blood Worship” takes the grim and pulsing sound of that of Archgoat and mixes it in with harsh Black Metal shrill of that of older Hacavitz for just a pummeling 24 minutes of music. It goes fast, but this album is fast. Morbid Sacrifice try to avoid going that lengthy atmospheric route like some other bands such as Leviathan do in a lot of their music by going hard at first, then slowing down for a dramatic outro (although there is mood here on the album with a lot of tracks in the way the band aims to create sludgy tones). The drums stand out the most in the mix with that clicking punch to it (just like Archgoat) and throaty growls are very old school, almost Death Doom like. The riffs such as those on ‘Venomous Messiah’ tread the line between the Death Metal side of Arch Goat and the blasphemous speed of that of Gorgoroth for a war of fast vs. slow with mid-paced being torn in half in the middle like it is being drawn and quartered. This tracks pretty much is the meat and potatoes for Morbid Sacrifice as they start out whining and harsh with blistering riffs and switch to a mid paced chugging that grimly plods along like the marching dead, and then things pick up again. Vocalist ThroatVomit gurgles his way along and roars, keeping up with the filthy tones created from BloodSpiller on the guitars, but it is WitchFucker’s bass that really sets the mood for the old school approach along with his voice, especially on a track like ‘Bloodsoaked Salvation.’ The drumming from SkinEater (very appropriately named) ranges from slow plods to fast hammering like beating the nails into Christ on the cross, so that just adds another level on the Death/ Black Metal blasphemy that the band aims to create.

Like Archgoat though, this formula of hazy Blackened Death Metal does tend to wear a bit on the ear, especially when all the tracks kind of blend together. It’s fun, fast, raw Metal that is sure to incite pits a shows with no issue- especially that more Thrash inspired Sodom cover of ‘Conjuration,’ but after that it just kind of seems to run along the same track of paces and almost warrants skipping one here and there. ‘Serpent’s of Abomination’ have biting riffs, but the riffs are the only thing holding the song together as it somewhat gets repetitive in the pace until the solo arrives. Vocals are raw and harsh all the way through, but don’t quite have enough to save the track and the drums click far to fast to really get into the rhythm. Other tracks like ‘Bleed for the Horned King’ are fast and have more energy and incite more of that Death Metal speed in the vein of older Cannibal Corpse with no mercy whatsoever. The album does close on a bit of moody piece with the samples of screaming, demonic growls and chants, and just a grim pit of hell presentation in the dungeons of doom with ‘Alucarda.’ It doesn’t quite fit the formula for Morbid Sacrifice who have stomped their way through all 7 tracks already and could have warranted some more death growls to aim for like a horrifying sermon of Satan which would have been the cherry on top for the band’s already morbid delivery.

Fans of more modern Death Metal probably will not like this- it is too harsh and grim for the ear. However, those who like just your raw, nasty music that doesn’t have to speedballs like that of Grindcore in the vein of Napalm Death and appreciate a bit more mood created by the bass and more of the gurgled snarled vs. the typical grunt or shriek of the genre will really find “Ceremonial Blood Worship” a worthy listen. Certainly more Old School and not quite as inventive as some others, this very basic album will deliver some grim cuts that show sometimes less is more. Who needs symphonic backing or crystal clear production when guitar distortion, female screams, slow bass passages, and thick drums in a haze of evil can say it all? While the album is not without its faults and somewhat runs altogether, the raw presence is commanding and Morbid Sacrifice is worth checking out for those who enjoy their music dark and evil without all the fluff that bands like Dimmu Borgir or Cradle of Filth present these days.

3 / 5 STARS

1. Ceremonial Blood Worship
2. Venomous Messiah
3. Bloodsoaked Salvation
4. Cremation Ritual
5. Conjuration (Sodom cover)
6. Serpent of Abomination
7. Bleed for the Horned King
8. Alucarda