Brazil’s Morcrof have been around since 1992 but have only released 3 full length albums in the last 30 years, mixed with a session of demos, live albums, and EPs. Relatively unknown in the Blackened Doom realm, this 3-piece performs music that is both pretty raw but also lush and symphonic, like a mix of Summoning meets older Dimmu Borgir. The Summoning influences are heard pretty clearly in the drumming (provided by session Alter Ego) and keyboard work (done by Brahmss Kermanns on a track like ‘Rescindi Neqveat Amaritvdinem’ along with the raspy vocals from Paullus Moura who also does the bass and guitars and helps with percussion. Most of the guitar work is done by Aaron Maat though whose razor riffs are a contrast to the rather lush symphonics that back the Black Metal elements. Morcrof do have a lot of slow moments though to add atmosphere, such as the acoustic ‘Vita ad Mortem Portendit’ with the percussive thunder before leading into the rather keyboard driven ‘Virvm Trans Silvam.’ Here we get a more Melodic Black Metal route with the rhythm of the guitars and the flute/piano with that touch almost bordering on Gothic Metal from the now defunct Siebenbürgen. The raw, croaky vocals still go well with the overall atmosphere and actually sound a little more prominent here versus the other tracks where they are pushed back a bit, especially with the higher pitched rasps, but also includes the deep spoken word passages to add that Doom influenced hypnotic quality. At the same time this hypnotic quality in the vocals and riffs and keyboards sometimes can wear a bit on the ear in their repetition, such as on the track ‘Mysteria Malak Al-Mawt’.
Morcrof do employ some guests to help them out, such as the opening track with the spoken word passages from Stefan Necroabyssious of Funeral Storm whose thunderous delivery sets the album up. Then the album closes on the non-Black Metal, almost Folk tinged vocals from Astraea of Melan Selas who really brings the Gothic Doom touches to the track ‘Omnia Qvi Natvs Est in Sol Imperii Dolor et Tristitia Svnt’ which almost comes across like an Thou Shalt Suffer atmospheric track. While both tracks are very brief that help round out Morcrof’s work in a way that brings a fresh approach to the music that has not been heard before on the other albums. Lyrically, the album still follows the Latin approach with the usual use of replacing ‘of’ with ‘ov’ spelling to follow the Behemoth tradition, which helps add more of that sinister quality to the album. Overall, ‘De Pessimism Philosophiam et Dogma Nihilistic’ is a bit of a mystical listen, touching on that wonderous level of Black Metal that isn’t bombarded by too much symphonics but also not so harsh it sounds like wintery distorted depression. It isn’t quite kvlt raw so the more elitists out there will probably ignore it, but there is plenty of variation between tracks in style so not one really sounds the same, preventing boredom save for a few places of repetition. Summoning still sounds like the strongest influence on Morcrof’s recent work compared to most other bands, but the band does their best to add their own flair with the Doom elements so they don’t quite come off as full Tolkien driven music.