Moral Collapse - Divine Prosthetics
Experimental Death Metal, Ambient
6 songs (32:06)
Release year: 2023
Reviewed by Goat

Following up a superb debut in 2021's self-titled album, India's Moral Collapse have returned to wreak havoc on weak minds again. Unfortunately, however, it seems that they've learned the wrong lessons and delved in a direction that won't be as pleasing to ears caught by the first album. Of course, the non-metallic and ambient elements on the debut helped enhance the death metal and make it both unique and interesting, but here these elements have been maximalised to the point where they overwhelm. For an album this short to contain only three actual death metal songs is bad enough; allowing the instrumental experiments to take up the majority of the time on the album is worse.

Starting with the positives, it's clear that mastermind Arun Natarajan still knows how to create intense, focused technical death metal. His guitar and bass playing on the likes of Precise Incision are as good as before, and with Hannes Grossman again returning on drums the instrumental skills of the band are beyond rock solid. Calamitous is an early highlight thanks to the frequent melodic soloing, and Divine Prosthetics I incorporates the experimental aspects well towards the end as the guitars turn to distant shrieks, an ominous outro that contrasts nicely with the more thrashy opening.

Sadly the experimental, non-metal pieces here are a real mixed bag. Disintegration is effective as an avant-garde intro piece, jarring crunches and wet, dripping percussion, even if it does seem to go on a little too long. NORDescendant is the first sign things are wrong, a throbbing ambient piece, breathy vocals and droning guitars echoing in and out before ending with scratchy violin. And Divine Prosthetics II continues seamlessly from the first part but soon devolves, bringing back the wet-sounding ambience of Disintegration and mixing in jazzy percussion and limited riffing that promises to build to something and never does as hissing ambience takes over. A tremendous performance from Grossman in the initial section but overall a frustrating piece, particularly since it goes on for nearly ten minutes and isn't nearly as well-thought-out as previous experiments.

Certainly, those who enjoy free improvisation on saxophone and violin will be certain to get more out of this than we death metal devotees. As limited touches to add flair they're a fine addition - allow them to become the focus, however, and you risk listener boredom if not outright antipathy. Chalk this one up to miscalculating the amount of cheese necessary to counterweigh such experiments, and here's hoping future Moral Collapses get the balance right.

Killing Songs :
Precise Incision, Divine Prosthetics I
Goat quoted 65 / 100
Other albums by Moral Collapse that we have reviewed:
Moral Collapse - Moral Collapse reviewed by Goat and quoted 80 / 100
1 readers voted
Your quote was: 65.
Change your vote

There are 0 replies to this review. Last one on Tue Jun 27, 2023 9:14 am
View and Post comments