Morbific scored high with its first demos and debut album, “Ominous Seep Of Putridity”. The Death Metal with Autopsy and the rich Finnish Death Metal tradition as a base over which small hints from the Swedish school and also Grindcore (see the strong nod to Impetigo in the logo) were a feast for the lover of the Old School sound. We were then presented with a split 7″ EP with the Japanese of Anatomia, which served as a sop to this new album, ‘Squirm Beyond The Mortal Realm’.
But upon turning on this follow-up, it was a bit of a shock. That full-bodied sound that characterised their debut and made Old School fans mouth’s water, for the most part, to have been exchanged for a much more minimalist approach where the punch has disappeared from the guitar. The much lighter and more flat sounding production and consequently lack of depth give the whole thing a very compressed and digital feel. This does require some adjustment from the listener, so it took several listens before I got used to this new sound. The diminished role of the guitar simultaneously augments that of the bass guitar, which tries to fill the void in the sound in an almost Mortician-like buzz. With that, the Autopsy base has also been knocked out from under the band and the they do seem to seek a closer connection to Impetigo’s more Grindcore/Punk sound. Of course, the primitive nature of the band has remained untouched, but now it just seeks a different path to achieve the same thing. Something I also noticed with bassist and vocalist Jusa Janhonen’s other band Sadistic Drive, there too a different sound is chosen and more or less the same is achieved. The pace is also a bit slower with hardly any faster parts to be found, the dragging pace does give the whole thing a gloomy and doomy atmosphere that suits the band well and on which Chase Slaker has again focused his great artwork.
It’s less Convulse, Depravity or Autopsy, but the band has clearly gained a more distinct musical identity, and in the current scene where the lower-than-low-tuned kind of bands are tumbling over each other, that is certainly something to applaud. ‘Squirm Beyond The Mortal Realm’ has also become a fine album as far as I am concerned, but one that I am pretty sure not all fans of the debut will be as enthusiastic about.