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Morar - Chants Of Ossian [Demo]
6 June 2013

01. Chants Of Ossian (Prologue)
02. O, Morar
03. Four Stones
04. Thy Fame
05. Of The Fallen

It had been a while since I last dug up some new black metal, so when I came across Morar, I thought I would give them a shot. My foray has proven successful.

After the dramatic, instrumental title track, Chants Of Ossian begins in earnest with the first moments of "O, Morar," which could very easily belong to 3 Inches Of Blood ("Metal Woman" comes to mind). It has a very cool, NWOBHM sort of riff-and-drum-fill combo that opens it up strongly, and the beautiful riff carries the song until the halfway point. Unfortunately, the guitar parts often sound like they are being played on some manner of black metal marimba. Hell, for all I know, it could actually be a marimba; the tone of some instrument in there could use a bit of satanizing, but musically it is a strong composition nonetheless.

"Four Stones," after a Bathory-ish intro, kicks into a high-speed, punkish tune that is probably my favorite on this demo. The vocals are nice and grim, and the general atmosphere of the demo is basically what you would want out of an obscure black metal project.

If Chants Of Ossian has one outstanding flaw, it is the drums. Not only are they mixed inexplicably quietly, but in places they seem to be moving at a pace independent from that of the other instruments. The snare is almost pitifully ineffectual. Of course, it is so quiet that the effects are not as devastating as they could be, but it does distract from the otherwise enjoyable songs. By "Thy Fame," however, Morar have really stepped up their game, so this is less of an issue for the second half of the demo. For a demo - and a black metal demo at that - this isn't a completely horrendous production job at all, surprisingly.

The main issue I have with Morar is the performance rather than the music itself. Musically, this is a pretty strong release, and I would like to see more of Morar in the future. I was not kidding about that marimba remark, though. There is exhibiting the trademark black metal anti-professionalism and anti-musicality, and then there is forgetting to switch the dial from "jazz ensemble" to "kvlt." Other than those occasional rough patches, the guitar is fairly spot-on. This is a very enjoyable release that promises more good things to come.

Performance: 7
Songwriting: 8
Originality: 7
Production: 8


Written on 10.12.2013 by
Reviewing since 2010. Reviewing competently since 2013. More metal than you since before the dawn of 'istry.
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Comments: 3  
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theFIST - 10.12.2013 at 15:35  
Disagreed, the snare is still too loud when it"s just playing a beat
Skl3ros - 12.12.2013 at 20:01  
wow thanks for the review. I just fell in love with O, Morar instantly. such an outstanding song.
Skl3ros - 16.12.2013 at 04:54  
After listening for this over and over the past few days I have to say that this is really a hidden gem and by far the best demo I've ever heard. really eager to see with what they will come up next.

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