Rating:
8.8
Agruss - Morok
26 April 2012


01. Damnation
02. Morok
03. Punishment For All
04. Fire The Savior From Plague
05. Ashes Of The Future
06. When The Angels Fall
07. Under The Snow I
08. Under The Snow II
09. Under The Snow III


One look at this whole set-up and it's easy to see we're in for a pretty typical black metal listen. The logo, the artwork, even the name gives you a pretty good idea what you're in for. You know what? It is pretty damn typical.

The only question is, for being such a typical album, how the hell does Morok manage to achieve such shit-blasting power?

Razor sharp guitars, blast beats, shrieks, growls, fairly lo-fi production, atmospheric intros and interludes. Yeah, this all sounds pretty familiar, right? Well, all the components are very familiar, but everything is cranked as hard as it can go. It's one thing to say a band is going to blow your speakers, Agruss on the other hand legitimately sound like they're doing damage to either your speakers, or their recording equipment. Aside from the few sparse atmospheric bits, it sounds like every inch of space is being occupied by sound here. The low end is covered with a thick, blundering death metal sound, while the high pitched black metal shrieks & eerie leads come in over the top. It's not merely just a thick, frantic wall of sound either, the song writing here is actually really memorable. There is a few moments of black metal blandness put through extremely cool production, but more often it's all about tangible riffs and moving, spooky passages.

...Yet, it still is pretty damned gritty. It's not sloppy, amateurish lo-fi type work. It sounds like the band really had a grasp of what they were doing behind the mixing boards as well. Things aren't raw merely for the sake of being raw. It's raw when it needs to be, yet has an appropriate amount of clarity to bring certain riffs to the forefront.

Black metal without avant-garde jibber-jabber, yet still fucking rules? What are you waiting around for? Listen to Morok, or go to hell.

...By the way, fuck Manowar. "When we're in town, speakers explode" Bullshit. Speakers preemptively commit suicide every time the name Agruss is even mentioned.


Band profile: Agruss
Album: Morok


 



Written on 28.04.2012 by
Doc Godin
Former EIC, now semi-retired.
More reviews by Doc Godin ››



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BitterCOld - 28.04.2012 at 09:51  
Mucho intriguing. must check them out.
Mr. Doctor - 28.04.2012 at 11:45  
Same as Craig, really interested in this stuff. Looks hella good.
Marcel Hubregtse - 28.04.2012 at 13:31  
An extremely enjoyable/good album this
Cynic Metalhead - 28.04.2012 at 19:20  
Surely will give it a listen.
PocketMetal - 28.04.2012 at 20:44  
Damn my speaker is dead , can't listen to this now

I've never enjoyed black metal in general , maybe 2 or 3 bands ... and I'm sure as hell they were not typical BM . but I'll give this a try , maybe it works as an eye-opener .
Void Eater - 29.04.2012 at 02:06  
I would listen to them, but Manowar exploded my speakers, so I need to buy some new ones before jamming this. Sounds really good though. I was just about to listen to Marduk when I read this, and this sounds similar enough.
Kuroboshi - 29.04.2012 at 02:41  
I liked the Manowar joke.
Troy Killjoy - 29.04.2012 at 04:35  
Will check this out on Monday for sure.
Götter - 29.04.2012 at 10:27  
This is how you make people interested in an album.
oroboros - 29.04.2012 at 10:50  
Grim shit from Ukraine?? I m in.
koob - 29.04.2012 at 19:39  
Seriously, this shit if fucking BRUTAL, worth checking out thanks for the review Doc !
Windrider - 29.04.2012 at 23:10  
Sounds like a must-listen to me.
Sonic MrSumo - 30.04.2012 at 04:08  
Nice review. You've inspired a listen!
The Turbanator - 30.04.2012 at 13:35  
Very very good stuff. Thank you for this.
BreadGod - 30.04.2012 at 18:51  
If what you're saying is true, I'm really going to enjoy this.
aluun - 04.05.2012 at 02:15  
Oh wow , awesome stuff
BreadGod - 05.05.2012 at 23:02  
I'm listening to it right now. This album is fucking evil.
ZGoten - 06.05.2012 at 13:43  
Never been huge into BM, but this album was awesome.
Maxx666 - 12.05.2012 at 21:35  
Fantastic stuffs indeed...
Maxx666 - 12.05.2012 at 22:12  
Yeah found it... this reminds me of a less evil version of Arckanum , but as stated earlier really amazing and quality release
JD - 15.05.2012 at 10:35  
This is insane...
K†ulu - 10.06.2012 at 22:11  
Holy sh*it; just found out at Metal Archives that these guys are from my hometown! Will give them a listen ASAP!
Mr. Doctor - 10.06.2012 at 22:26  
Written by K†ulu on 10.06.2012 at 22:11

Holy sh*it; just found out at Metal Archives that these guys are from my hometown! Will give them a listen ASAP!



Your hometown just got 1000% more awesome, I guarantee you that. I (and some others) wouldn't call it Black Metal though. This feels like blackened death with some atmospheric twists here and there.
Fantastic album nevertheless.
Marcel Hubregtse - 10.06.2012 at 23:51  
Written by Mr. Doctor on 10.06.2012 at 22:26

I (and some others) wouldn't call it Black Metal though. This feels like blackened death with some atmospheric twists here and there.
Fantastic album nevertheless.


I would, I would call it deathened black.
Troy Killjoy - 11.06.2012 at 05:51  
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 10.06.2012 at 23:51
deathened

Has to be one of the ugliest words I've ever seen.
!J.O.O.E.! - 11.06.2012 at 15:45  
Written by Troy Killjoy on 11.06.2012 at 05:51

Has to be one of the ugliest words I've ever seen.

Better than doomened...
Mr. Doctor - 11.06.2012 at 16:19  
Written by !J.O.O.E.! on 11.06.2012 at 15:45

Written by Troy Killjoy on 11.06.2012 at 05:51

Has to be one of the ugliest words I've ever seen.

Better than doomened...


I honestly don't even know how to pronounce that word.
!J.O.O.E.! - 11.06.2012 at 16:19  
Written by Mr. Doctor on 11.06.2012 at 16:19


I honestly don't even know how to pronounce that word.

I say pronounce it phonetically, just to fuck with people: DOO-MEN-ED.
Oaken - 11.07.2012 at 21:36  
Seriously amazing. Yesterday, before going to bed, I decided to "test" this and listen to the first track, but I ended up listening to the first 6. This mixes my two favorite subgenres, death and atmospheric black. I also enjoyed the eerie sound samples, and I totally respect the band for their very thoughtful concept. This album exactly portrays Chernobyl. It's so astounding when such a young band kick off their career in such a destructive way. I only heard 9 albums from 2012, and Morok is the best amongst them(Alongside Faal's The Clouds Are Burning.)
Great review, Doc. Thanks a lot for promoting a monstrous masterpiece I wouldn't have known if not for your review.
Sulac - 27.12.2012 at 22:48  
Well, this album's awesome. I'm going to buy it immediately.
Maybe the best black metal album of 2012, for me.
Evil Chip - 08.01.2013 at 17:43  
My favourite more straightforward black metal album last year.
Mr. Doctor - 08.01.2013 at 19:24  
Written by Evil Chip on 08.01.2013 at 17:43

My favourite more straightforward black metal album last year.


I would say it's more death than black... Definitely an hybrid though. This is probably my favorite album of 2012.
Evil Chip - 09.01.2013 at 05:29  
Written by Mr. Doctor on 08.01.2013 at 19:24

Written by Evil Chip on 08.01.2013 at 17:43

My favourite more straightforward black metal album last year.


I would say it's more death than black... Definitely an hybrid though. This is probably my favorite album of 2012.

Yes, it has a great part of death but still I wouldn't call it blackened death metal. Anyways I was talking about the more direct and straightforward aproach in the music in general (genres-subgenres apart), which they deliver greatly.
Mr. Doctor - 09.01.2013 at 08:22  
Written by Evil Chip on 09.01.2013 at 05:29
Yes, it has a great part of death but still I wouldn't call it blackened death metal.


To me it's only the production that makes it sound "bm", the riffs and most of the vocals just scream death to me.
Marcel Hubregtse - 09.01.2013 at 11:49  
Written by Mr. Doctor on 09.01.2013 at 08:22

Written by Evil Chip on 09.01.2013 at 05:29
Yes, it has a great part of death but still I wouldn't call it blackened death metal.


To me it's only the production that makes it sound "bm", the riffs and most of the vocals just scream death to me.


the riff progressions are totally black metal and not death metal. And vocals do not define a genre.
!J.O.O.E.! - 09.01.2013 at 14:13  
This is more death than black. Riff progressions don't define a genre. The actual riffs are much more important, as well as the way the drums and guitars work together. Not to mention the frequent Dragged Into Sunlight-esque moments this record has. There are a couple of atmos-black tracks on this, the rest are predominantly death metal with heavy black laden moments and aesthetics.
Daniell - 09.01.2013 at 16:55  
Marcel says A, Joe says B, so it's time for me to chip in and say the usual, namely, screw genres

But seriously, I would never ever think about this band as death metal. from the first listen months ago till the last listen a few days back, I've always heard black metal.
Marcel Hubregtse - 09.01.2013 at 17:34  
Written by Daniell on 09.01.2013 at 16:55

Marcel says A, Joe says B, so it's time for me to chip in and say the usual, namely, screw genres


And now go recoomend Rihanna to someone who likes Agruss because both make good music
Marcel Hubregtse - 09.01.2013 at 17:35  
Written by Daniell on 09.01.2013 at 16:55


But seriously, I would never ever think about this band as death metal. from the first listen months ago till the last listen a few days back, I've always heard black metal.


there is some death in there, but only taking a backseat
!J.O.O.E.! - 09.01.2013 at 17:35  
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 09.01.2013 at 17:34

And now go recoomend Rihanna to someone who likes Agruss because both make good music

You think Rihanna makes good music?
Marcel Hubregtse - 09.01.2013 at 17:39  
Written by !J.O.O.E.! on 09.01.2013 at 17:35

Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 09.01.2013 at 17:34

And now go recoomend Rihanna to someone who likes Agruss because both make good music

You think Rihanna makes good music?


hahaha no, but I know someone who reviews for Aardschok who does and used it as an example of how ridiculous it to say that no genres are needed

I HATE all modern R&B, so also Whitney Houston, my god what torture listening to that.
Evil Chip - 28.01.2013 at 05:21  
After a few more listenings: I eat my words this is blackened death. There are quite atmospheric black moments but overall is death metal with a slightly drowned production sound.

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