Morbid Majesties by Sadistik Forest
Can I just start this off by saying that the sheer amount of quality extreme metal music being produced this year is ab-so-loot-ley in-facking-sane. Thanks to the undying dedication and passionate independent record labels much like Transcending Obscurity, (who put out this record) among countless others; and the magnanimous amount of bands much like Sadistik Forest for churning out such epic, crushing, inspired, and genuinely GOOD music. It has actually gotten to the point of being overwhelming. I mean, I don’t review half of the records I get and plan on reviewing, as more and more keeping coming like (literal) bats out of hell. What a great fucking problem to have, though. If you want to go as far as to call the market oversaturated or not, the reality is in the current state of the game a band has to put out a really strong release or have a really cool gimmick or wit about them to be noticed and praised among the others, and there has been more than a few releases this year that have done just that. This resurgence of extreme metal and dedication to the inventiveness and quality of it is happening right before our eyes, and we should throw on some dope ass shades and fucking enjoy it, if you ask me. Sadistik Forest’s new record is a record I chose to review not because it reinvents the death metal wheel whatsoever… there are no electronic sounds, atmosphere-inducing tones, and they definitely aren’t wearing any cheap halloween costumes. Hailing from Finland and have no intentions of fucking around, they present to you Morbid Majesties. This record is a refreshing take on no frills, old-school, unapologetic, death metal. And we love it.
The thing that first intrigued me most about this record was the art of the band name and the actual album art itself, the imagery it provided.. it was impossible to know what this would be sounding like. It doesn’t have a strictly old-school death metal vibe, or a “core” or “slam” element, either. Definitely not black metal. Maybe lurking into Black Dahlia Murder territory? Or it could be straight up thrash metal all over the damn place. Whatever the case may be, I was hooked it. I LIKED that I couldn’t look at the record and KNOW what it’s gonna sound like, because, let’s face it, a lot of the times, you can. Not saying that’s necessarily a bad thing, all the time. But, Sadistik Forest nailed it. Not knowing what to expect.. it was just a bonus that they ended up sounding quite like the bastard spawn of Deicide and Morbid Angel, but maybe a tad more polished and tightened up for 2018. The opening drum frills, soaring and ripping guitar riffs, and sky-opening growl let you know you’re in for a no-bullshit death metal journey through said forest.
The Sadistik Forest is packed with more than enough diversity wrapped up in the death metal disguise that’ll keep you lost in its infinite tangle of thorns and vines, as the influences run amok amongst it’s tress. Just from the first two songs its very easy to tell the influences of bands such as Death, Cannibal Corpse, etc.. but there are elements of thrash and grind that really accentuate the tunes and differentiate Sadistik Forest from the rest. They are not here to impress you with the sheer brutality and speed at which the can play, although I’m more than sure they can hold their own in that department, they rather bring the pain in a slightly slower, groovier, and more sinister way with their sound. Dare I say, sadistic? They cook the rotting flesh exactly how it should be, low and slow, but with plenty of spices to keep it moving. And don’t forget the main ingredient: RIFFS. By the second track, Decades of Torment then Death, is not only my vote for best track title but the opening riff will have you moving and grooving til you’re out of the forest. Just don’t forget your insect repellant, there’s plenty of buzzing, soaring, and torturous bloodsucking creatures in the form of relentless death metal riffle. So, don’t misconstrue my analysis, they are no sludge/stoner/doom metal act, they are just no Fleshgod Apocalypse. The important thing is, they hone in on their sound, and it works for them.
Having listened to the record well above ten time at this point, I start to pick up on little elements that really bring the record to life. The crisp and menacing production quality and sound mix really showcase the bands ability to formulate what will prove to be a "signature" sound for the band. all work together to form this cohesive and brutal work of death metal art. Each song has its own vibe to it, while all feeding off one another. The tunes are of pretty average length (like me) and to the point, but they all work together, like a good album should. Wether its the element of down tuned, lingering, lingering bass combined with a spicy groove on tracks such as Hour of Dread or Zero Progress; or blistering double bass and ripping guitar on Destructive Art or Maelstrom Opens; or EVEN a 10-minute epic conclusion in the form of Bones of a Giant that… you just need to stop reading this shit and listen to like NOW… there’s more than enough material on here that showcases not only Sadistik Forest’s ability to write a crushing song, but a well constructed, unique, and accessible record.
As I re-spin this sucker for the umpteenth time, I”m quite honestly hard pressed to find anything truly negative to say about it. The vocals admittedly struck me as odd at first, but now I listen to them and totally appreciate and love the diversity and effortless pitch changes, growls, and screams coming straight from Markus Makkonen’s soul. He sounds like a hybrid creation of Chuck Billy, Glenn Benton, and Trevor , if you will. And he wrecks shit on bass, too.. which is undeniably impressive. The guitar tone is outstanding, literally. It cuts through every track taking center stage with a wonderful old school death metal tone but at the same time completely has a distinct “Sadistik Forest” sound. As mentioned, the BASS is absolutely killer and present, providing a ton of extra depth to the songs, with yet again more menacing tone. And the drums pull it all together flying in and out of death/grind territory, into straight metal grooves. So, if you’re gonna take any chemical induced journeys into the forest looking for the Blair Witch or something, I suggest you do not. And listen to Morbid Majesties instead. This is another extreme metal album for the books this year.
Gym Rating: 4.5/5
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