October 26, 2011 | , | 4

Morbus Chron, Sleepers in the Rift

Morbus Chron: Sleepers in the Rift

When is Old School Death Metal not really Old School Death Metal? When it forgoes the traditional trappings of the new wave of OSDM. I mean, there’s no over-the-top buzz sawing often found with Entombed/Dismember aping. Sweden’s Morbus Chron eschew the latest trend in rehashing the bands of my youth while still embracing much of what those bands offered to an unpolluted and sponge-like hunger for all things death metal.

With the Sleepers in the Rift, these Swedish bastards unleash doomy, sludgy and crazed death metal that leans heavily on the likes of Autopsy, but not in the way most bands would do so. The music encompassed in the likes of album opener “Through the Gaping Gate / Coughing in a Coffin” is chock full of violent themes, swirling guitars and Autopsy’s twisted harmonies. That eerie atmosphere that accompanies the band’s brand of sickening death metal reminds me of what it was first like to tear into cassette tapes full of vile metal back in the day. Throw in a deliberate, sub-par production and you’ve got an authentic feeling album that could have been at home back in the early 90’s.

The tone throughout Sleepers in the Rift is dark, foreboding and full of sludgy doom-inspired riffage. And with titles like “Creepy Creeping Creep” and “Dead Body Pile Necrophile,” it’s pretty apparent what you’re in store for lyric-wise. Yet, for as campy and “humorous” as some of the vocals may be on their own, once they are tied into the chugging riffs and uneasy melodies you can’t help but get absorbed into the gut wrenching miasma. At times too closely resembling Autopsy, the album is chock full of barbaric death metal. Take “Hymns to a Stiff,” “The Hallucinating Dead” and “Lidless Coffin” for instance — both have a heavy old school feel and are influenced greatly by Autopsy, yet both deliver the goods without fully mimicking anything we’ve heard in the past. The thick, sludgy, rot-crawling riffs of “The Hallucinating Dead” are pretty bad ass.

When all is said and done, Sleepers in the Rift is a solid tribute to bands past. It’s an album that may not win any “year end” awards, but I’ll be skull fucked if it’s not fun as hell to listen to.