22 May 2016

Morgue of Saints: "Sleep/Death"

Lamentations of the downtrodden legions of doom
From the vast nature of Canada comes Morgue of Saints, a band created by Elliot C as an outlet for his own droning, ambient doom tendencies. The album in question, Sleep/Death, is a three track conceptual piece that slowly sways back and forth among a myriad of influences, currents and styles.

From minimalistic drones in the style of early Earth, to heavy ambient funerals, Sleep/Death has a little bit of everything in the spectrum of gloomy, downtrodden processions. Through droning, bass-heavy guitars and atmospheric moods, Morgue of Saints invokes several moments of experimenting noise and horrifically cinematic doom.

Morgue of Saints' debut has only three tracks - but to a total of 40 minutes. The two-part doom epic Sleep is split in two by the 24 minute behemoth Death. Death is a highly minimalistic composition consisting of just one desolate guitar. Though a bold move - and perhaps a fitting one given the subject - there is simply too little going on to justify the incredible length. With no hypnotic groove or drone to get you in a meditative state and without any real ups and downs in intensity or otherwise, Death is quite simply too uneventful.

"...where sustained guitar chords plummet to abyssal depths."

But where Death feels shallow and simplistic, Sleep I and II have much more going on in and between their intricate layers. The two parts are uniquely woven together and interconnected while still set apart by both feel, style and atmosphere. They contrast each other, but at the same time are bound together by the difference. As an opening track, Sleep I sets a cinematic mood of desolate ambience, before Sleep II continues with an exercise in funeral doom metal where sustained guitar chords plummet to abyssal depths.

Morgue of Saints combines several key elements to create this special mixture. While distortion is abundant, rhythms are less so. While Death feels unnecessarily long and tedious, it does point out and underscore the interplay between the two parts of Sleep in a way that would be less impactful had the two tracks been combined into one. But this feat could likely be achieved in some other way. Even so, Elliot C is a competent creator of atmospheres and vibes in the realms of eerie darkness, capable of building tension and paranoia.


Released in 2012 independently

Morgue of Saints on BANDCAMP

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