I have previously mentioned in my review of the Venenum album that Germany has fast become a major force within the death metal scene as another act vies for prominence. The band’s debut demo in 2015 was a crawling insidious slab of gruelling malfeasance as the band has attempted to situate themselves within the slower dense side of the death metal genre. If you trawl the abyssal depths, like an unlit ocean trench, of death metal you eventually discover acts like Morast whose sonic defilement is perversely pulverising without resorting to technical trickery or a production that renders much of today’s modern death metal sterile and lacking any form of emotion.

With six songs, the opener “Crescent” belches into life with a riff that seems familiar, on the denser and slower end of Morbid Angel or Immolation as the vocal horror that emanates has a very slight echo amid a suffocating atmosphere as the track leads into “Forlorn” with a decrease in pace. The songs slithering malevolence is monolithic, possessing hideous charm as the song has a style similar to Ectovoid unleashing an awesome riff break that is gnarly and gutturally intense within a sludge like formula. That slight sludgy style is pervasive on the weirdly titled “Sakkryfyced” followed by ghoulish distortions and vocal whispers coupled to mournful groans that add textural charisma to the albums grisly approach. The songs doom death façade is blanketed with a funereal pace that is purposeful, repetitive and hypnotic but obviously in a positive way.

I love the start of “Compulsion” with its solitary bass riff and drum beat as a warped guitar riff fades in quickly but maintains that funereal aura with grief-stricken vocal drawls enabling the song to exude a palpable claustrophobic intensity. The album closes with the two longest tracks the first being “Loss” which starts with an isolated doom styled guitar riff as the pace delves further downwards making the pace like wading through bitumen. The song allows the density of the album to plummet ever further into the murky depths of repugnant corruption, that eventually transforms the riff into a gruesome drone that works excellently and reminds me of acts like Italy’s Fuoco Fatuo due to the overt doom death approach. The title track ends the album, an eight minute plus hulking monstrosity that possesses a drilling riff and slow militaristic like pace. As the song develops the vocals add their own layer of desecration, being low, inhuman but with decipherable barks but also wailing groans, creating a total sonic abomination that is unyieldingly violent and manifestly malignant which is exactly what this album aims to do and with the result is devastating.

(8.5/10 Martin Harris)