It’s difficult to talk about doom-drenched, subterranean death metal without mentioning Peaceville Records circa early nineties, when the likes of Paradise Lost, Anathema and My Dying Bride were busy churning out the kind of morbid, pounding ferocity that stands to this day as superlative examples of the subgenre. Add in the influential sounds of Celtic Frost and their final death throes in the form of 2006’s devastating Monotheist, as well as Tom G Warrior’s more recent aural abomination in the Geigerian form of Triptykon’s monstrously oppressive clamour, and it becomes as good a place to start as any when describing the crushing despondence that can be heard within Morast’s sound, with the Germans’ debut demo recording comprising four tracks of raw, undiluted bitterness that crawls forth with incessant furore.
It comes as no surprise that the band shares guitarist Jens Aschemeier with filth-ridden sludge provocateurs Nightslug, whose 2015 aptly-named release Loathe impressed Cvlt Nation in all its abhorrent glory. Morast are similarly morose and unflinchingly primeval yet with a distinctly different death doom vibe that harks back to the old school, the likes of ‘Purging’ and ‘The Cold Side of Bliss’ maintaining a mid-paced slog throughout with just enough pace to avoid dropping fully into funeral doom territory whilst providing a healthy dose of energy and groove that keeps the songs moving forward.
Morast rely purely on bare bones nastiness to craft their dolorous world, and coupled with the bristly yet surprisingly clear production that only accentuates the acrimoniousness that positively drips off this demo, it serves as the standard for a band that will undoubtedly grow into the formidable unit that is more than hinted at here.