Metal morsels goes fortnightly!
Yep, that’s right – from now on I’m doubling the number of morsels I deal out each month. Although I’d hate for this column to become too rigid or formulaic, the bossman has spoken and so now I’ll be doing two separate columns under the Morsels banner – one for news and one for reviews – a slight tweak which means we will be able to feature more artists than ever before. So here’s some news on up an coming or just-released records that have caught my ear of late – enjoy!
Brazen Tongue Morsels
Brazen Tongue is a metal ensemble that defies geographical boundaries to create a sound as expansive as their origins. Members hail from Chicago, Illinois, USA, and Gothenburg, Sweden, bringing together a varied array of influences to forge a unique sound within the metal genre. The band’s debut full-length album, Of Crackling Embers & Sorrows Drowned, was engineered and mixed by Andy Nelson at Bricktop Studios, Chicago with additional recording by Greg Livas and mastering by Brad Boatright.

Formed through a long-distance collaboration that began in 2017, Brazen Tongue is the culmination of a musical partnership between guitarists Scott Skopec and Ethan Gifford that dates back to 2004. Their journey from a blackened thrash band to the formation of Brazen Tongue showcases resilience and adaptability, navigating through life’s changes and geographical separation to create something truly unique.

Brazen Tongue’s sound is deeply rooted in the foundations of classic metal, thrash, black metal, and death metal, drawing inspiration from giants like Metallica, Kreator, King Diamond, Emperor, Immortal, Dissection, Deicide, and Morbid Angel. Their music strives to balance aggression with melody, embodying the essence of their many influences while forging a distinct path.

Previous engagements of Brazen Tongue members with acclaimed bands Polyptych and Headshrinker have earned them accolades within the metal scene. Of Crackling Embers & Sorrows Drowned explores themes of mortality, acceptance of past mistakes, and the struggle against the ephemeral nature of life. Each track delves into personal and philosophical territories. As the band embarks on this new chapter, they reflect on the journey that brought them here and look forward to a future filled with more music and growth. Despite the challenges of long-distance collaboration, their first album marks the beginning of a promising venture into the metal scene, hoping to resonate with fans across the globe.

Severe Torture Morsels
Dive into the macabre world of Severe Torture with their latest harrowing album, Torn from the Jaws of Death!

This album marks the band’s audacious continuation of their two-decade legacy in death metal, showcasing ten tracks meticulously engineered to showcase the pinnacle of brutality and their technical prowess. Recorded at Torture Compound Studios and polished to malignant perfection by Mendel bij de Leij, Torn from the Jaws of Death is a monumental slab of pure, unadulterated death metal. The band’s lyrics probe into the dark recesses of human depravity, making for an experience that’s as intellectually provocative as much as it is (of course!) sonically relentless.

Born from the bowels of the Dutch underground, the band emerged onto the world stage with their debut album Feasting On Blood, hailed as an epic watershed in the nascent wave of brutal death metal in 2001. Their hard-hitting, merciless sound has since rippled across North and South America, Europe, and Mexico; their trail marked by five ground-breaking releases over the past quarter-century.

Remaining relevant in the ever-evolving realm of extreme metal is no small feat, a task Severe Torture have met by continuously levelling up. In pursuit of rejuvenation and to capture the aggression and energy befitting of a new era, they amicably parted ways with original drummer Seth in 2018, bringing Damiën Kerpentier into the fold. The move signified a new chapter for the seasoned ensemble, marking a seismic shift that breathed fresh air into their creative process, leading to some of their darkest, most profound work yet.

This reinvigorated spirit came to life in 2022 with the release of the EP Fisting The Sockets – the band’s first release in an astounding twelve years. The record served as a triumphant harbinger for their resurgence, with the band re-signing with French label Season of Mist and rekindling the flame of their brutal origins amidst a pandemic-stricken world.

Now, in 2024, Severe Torture is set to escalate to new heights of sonic savagery with their sixth full-length album, Torn from the Jaws of Death. Recorded again at the infamous Torture Compound Studios, the album stands as a testament to the raw energy, blood, sweat, and relentless brutality that the band represents.

From the aggressive whirlwind of riffs in The Death of Everything, to the haunting black metal nuances of the title track Torn from the Jaws of Death, the album is a death metal cogitation on murder, torture, and the madness of organized religions.

Italian black metal unit Stormcrow have just released their third album, Path to Ascension, via Time To Kill Records.

The album was recorded and mixed by Carlo Meroni at ADSR Studio in Milan and mastered by Magnus “Devo” Andersson (Marduk) at Endarker Studio in Sweden. You can hear a track from the album released as a single, Petit Dru, below.

Of the single, the band commented on release: “Petit Dru is the epic peak located in the Mont Blanc massif, which was conquered solo on 22nd August 1955 by Italian alpinist Walter Bonatti. The song tells of this impossible challenge described by him as a ‘crazy idea generated by moral depression’. Bonatti spent six days on a vertical wall facing his demons, he had hallucinations from the effort, at certain moments he even thought of calling it quits, but his enormous willpower allowed him to conquer this peak, the most difficult of his life”.

The band started out in Northern Italy in 1997 and is no secret to genre connoisseurs thanks to a couple of well-received albums and European tours with Dark Funeral, Enthroned, Shining and many more. But now their big moment in the spotlight has come – Stormcrow are ready for the final breakthrough with the new album Path to Ascension.

The band have kept the black flame burning for over twenty years simply out of adoration and their respect for the genre. Undoubtedly they share some of the same DNA of iconic black metal bands that have gone before them, and whilst their technical abilities add a more than impressive flourish, they operate on a ‘don’t overcomplicate for the sake of overcomplicating’ rule. Keeping theatrics to a minimum has yielded a lean, sharp album that embodies the blueprint of old school black metal and embraces both melody and an epic narrative.

Construct of Lethe morsels
American death metal band Construct of Lethe have come up with the kind of album that we don’t get to hear very often. It’s supposed to be a single forty-four-minute track. The concept and intention is best explained by the band member Tony Petrocelly in his own words – “This album is meant to be taken as a single track. There are twelve relatively clear sections that it can be broken into, but this album feels like more than the sum of its parts, if that makes sense. I wrote the lyrics this time around. They’re very personal and describe periods of depression and self-hatred I’ve gone through over the last five years. The lyrics are told from the point of view of a person’s inner voice, but that inner voice hates the person it belongs to. Over the course of the album it lets its feelings be known in an attempt to make the person kill themself, which ultimately it does. The title A Kindness Dealt in Venom signifies that the inner voice thinks it’s doing the world a favour by poisoning its person’s mind and getting them to remove themselves from the world.”

Construct of Lethe have created a deeply personal, autobiographical concept album dealing with suicidal depression which is meant to be listened to seamlessly as a single song. They’ve transcended the death metal confines on this album to achieve the kind of expression that encompasses a wide range of emotions and to that extent they’ve borrowed influences of other styles such as industrial, black metal, doom metal, ambient, etc. and even used synth and electronics to achieve that. The album traverses various dimensions while remaining coherent as well as cohesive, with the writing always coming off as intuitive, flowing naturally and never forced. As the battle rages on with the inner voice coming to terms with the persisting life, one can experience the undulating highs and lows via the music, and more often than not, following moments of bleakness, there’s an epic, cathartic outcome as if by way of an epiphany. The upbeat sections replete with the Morbid Angel-esque riffing make an appearance too along with the flurry of leads which the band have perfected over the years. All in all, it’s a rich, varied and unique album that needs to be treated differently. It’s meant not just to be heard but to be experienced.