Searing the flesh from our faces with their brutality for over thirty years, despite a lengthy hiatus and multiple lineup changes, US Death Metal legends Morta Skuld are back to unleash a further assault on our senses. With their follow-up to 2020’s Suffer For Nothing, the band, led by founder and main man David Gregor, will release their latest offering, Creation Undone, soon. It is ten tracks of pure, unrelenting Death Metal.
Morta Skuld – Creation Undone (Peaceville Records)
Release Date: 23 February 2024
Words: Jools Green
Lyrically, Creation Undone explores the increasingly savage, corrupt and destructive state of the world in present times, the devastating impact of COVID, and the world at large falling into disrepair and dismay. What the world has become in the wake of this new era are heavy topics indeed, but it does make for a lethally good listen.
Morta Skuld also opted for a different writing strategy this time around. Rather than writing a song and performing it at rehearsals the band instead took their practice sessions as writing sessions, focusing on a single song and honing it until it was completed before moving onto the next. The band says they felt was a fantastic way to keep the album feeling focused and fresh.
Creation Undone is certainly an impactful listen. Searing riffs and a brutal drum battery open We Rise We Fall, which pans out into a crushing pounder that assaults your senses. The lyrics are delivered with raw precision and punch, both here and across the whole album.
The End Of Reason swiftly follows. This is a brutal driver with a hypnotic repeat and ebb and build. Its direction switches are dynamic and ferocious and the drum work is insane. You get a superb soaring swathe of closing leadwork, getting this album off to a superb start.
Painful Conflict doesn’t let the side down either. It has a heavily ominous feel but also a little bit of a subtle groove. Again, this is a song that pounds every inch of your senses with an unstoppable wall of riffing and drum battery. I particularly like the extra bit of raw protraction on the vocal delivery on this track.
Guaranteed to get your head nodding and your foot tapping is Unforeseen Obstacles, a very upbeat crusher that is brutally addictive, chugging and crunchy. It really packs a punch with a superbly contrasting and sublime swathe of second-half soaring leadwork that dances around the riffs and drums.
I’m also delighted to report that Perfect Prey continues to pound your senses to a pulp. It’s a compelling and addictive listen. The riffs run riot midway through with an insane urgency reflected in the second half leadwork, and it’s lyrically sinister too.
Soul Piercing Sorrow keeps up the pace initially as it opens but thirty-second in, it makes a dramatic drop. The sinister vocal growls then cut through, rebuilding with a nice mix of brutal chug and a haunting heavy melody that has a very fluid feel. The closing leadwork is dramatically haunting too.
A haunting and ominous feel to the opening melody on Into Temptation contrasts nicely with the pummelling drums and driving waves of riffing that follow. It’s another hypnotic pounder. The closing leadwork is pretty decent too, after which that haunting and ominous melody returns briefly towards the close of the track.
Hypnotic undulating waves of crushing riffs open Self-Destructive Emotions, a track which develops its brutality in subtle increments, crushing your senses more and more as it progresses. But that second half soaring leadwork will lift you up just enough for the riffs and drums to give your senses a second pounding.
At this point, don’t expect any let-up from the penultimate piece, Oblivion. But do expect your senses to be fully engaged in the twisting and turning brutal rhythms of this complex and, at times, frantic chugger with its haunting midpoint leadwork and sinister lyrics.
The final piece, By Design, is haunting and sinister to open, building in thick layers. A somewhat slower track with a dense texture it is unnervingly sublime and crushingly hypnotic. The pace picks up briefly, and a full-on drum battery ensues. But mostly it maintains that dense slower crush. Closing on eerie guitar work, this is a track that makes a massive statement. I love it.
Morta Skuld are musically as brutal and vital as they ever been. Whether you love their early material, their more recent or all of their work you won’t be disappointed with Creation Undone. It’s an end-to-end savagely engaging listen. Pre-orders are available here.