Morta Skuld - Suffer For Nothing review

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Band: Morta Skuld
Album: Suffer For Nothing
Release date: September 2020

01. Extreme Tolerance
02. Abyss Of The Mind
03. Dead Weight
04. Divide The Soulless
05. The Face I Hate
06. Forbidden
07. Godlike Shell
08. Suffer For Nothing
09. Facing Mortality
10. Machines Of Hate

Apt title.

You have to ask yourself what you want from a band several decades into their career; do you want a release that can stand toe to toe with their prior work, something that will tide you over with a few good songs, or are you content to just have anything with the band's name slapped on it? While I'm usually contented to sit in the middle category with part of me hoping the band can unearth a gem, I harbour no illusions of when a band serve up something awful. Morta Skuld find themselves in the middle category but lean heavily on the weaker side of it with Suffer For Nothing.

Much of the record is generic riffing and growls on top of blast beats; sure, it sounds evil and heavy, but that is all there seems to be. Songs like "Dead Weight" and "Godlike Shell" would be considered filler on the band's prior work, yet here they emerge as the best of a bad bunch. Neither song sounds particularly inspired and that is the running theme for much of the album; there are no moments that try to shake things up or hit you out of nowhere. "Suffer For Nothing" comes closest with its slower tempo seeming like a breath of fresh air, but it soon runs out of puff like an asthmatic in a marathon, a great start but soon dragging their feet.

With Gregor as the sole remaining member from the band's glory days in the 1990's, I'm inclined to believe the band are trying too hard to fit into form and play roles that hark back to the band's traditional sound, which sees a lot of the personality in the playing broken off in order to fit into the pre-set mould. Willecke and Beyer are competent guitarists, but if I were to play ten random riffs with some of these tracks thrown in (say a "Facing Mortality") I would struggle to pick apart which ones belonged to the duo. Though no one plays anything badly or particularly awful, it doesn't move the needle either way.

The sound of the album fits much into the same mould, with the band trying to balance modern production with an old school mentality, resulting in an album that wants to sound like it was dug up from the heydays of death metal but with the power afforded by modern equipment. The resulting hybrid is one that ruins the charm of the former, sounding like an imitation of the 90's sound, though one with no sonic faults. The idea was a noble one and could have given fans of the band what they wanted; here, it is just wide of the mark, though you are inclined to at least give the band credit for aiming in the right direction.

There are moments scattered across this record that show hints of promise, that given enough time or inspiration this line up could improve on themselves and make the next record something special. Tracks like "Divide The Soulless" do offer up moments that see the band step away from their formula and create something slightly different from the rest of the record. Whether the band felt compelled to fall into form for much of Suffer From Nothing, this song shows the band can flex their muscles when they want to.

The band still have a lot to offer off the back of Wounds Deeper Than Time, but Suffer For Nothing isn't what I was hoping for, a largely forgetful album that means well but ultimately doesn't deliver. Morta Skuld are a band worth checking out with some cracking releases like Dying Remains. Don't let this album paint your vision of the band, it's good the band are getting their names back out there, but hopefully people look back and don't base their feelings towards the group on this one release.

Rating breakdown
Performance: 6
Songwriting: 6
Originality: 5
Production: 5


Written on 14.10.2020 by Just because I don't care doesn't mean I'm not listening.

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