Murdryck are a Swedish semi-melodic Black Metal band consisting of 5 very talented individuals. In 2015, they released an EP called “As The Moon Bleeds” and in February 2016 they signed with Black Lion Productions ( which by the way has signed many awesome bands) and released their debut album “Antologi MMXV”. This is a review of the latter.
The album starts with “The Sombre Angel”, which is basically a 2 minute long dark and epic synth intro, which excites and puts the listener in the right frame of mind and sparks curiosity about what is to follow.
Thankfully though the wait is not long, the curiosity is quickly satisfied. The first proper tune of the album is “As The Moon Bleeds”, an epic Black Metal anthem. The song starts with extreme blast beats and it’s very fast paced. The singer’s vocals sound like a true winter blizzard. However this pace is not continuous. There are breaks in the song with clean bass guitar, which sound awesome and show the bassist’s technical competence. Generally this song’s riffs sound twisted and evil. And as a bonus, the song finishes with a brilliant old-school Heavy Metal guitar solo which brings to mind memories of the 80s classic anthems.
After this first initial shock, Murdryck continue their attack with “The Ascension”. This song moves along the same lines as the previous one. Blast beats and fast intense guitar riffs dominate again and in combination with the singer’s excellent vocals the result is brilliant. This song has got breaks in it’s mad tempo with clean bass guitar playing. Half way the style changes a bit and the riffs and speed change and start sounding a little bit like Death Metal, only to get back to the specific Black Metal style that the album, already by now, has established. The tune finishes with some brilliant and clean classical guitar playing.
Murdryck are giving us a break at this point in the album with their next song titled “Swallowed By The Ages”. This song is a lot slower, it’s more melodic and starts with slow clean guitar playing. In a way it’s more like Doom than Black Metal, until the vocals kick in of course. Murdryck have a way to constantly remind you what style of Metal they play. Half way through, the tune changes and speeds up sounding simultaneously a little like Death, Doom and Black Metal. As the song closes, the drumming gives a hint of Thrash Metal too. It’s safe to say that if one listens to this song 3-4 times, the influences that have shaped Murdryck become kind of obvious.
“Slaves Under A Dying Sun” is the next song. Starting with an industrial-like intro, this songs very quickly develops in a full blown mad-paced Black Metal anthem with blast-beats and extremely fast guitars . You can say that the main riff is really a little bit of a mix between Thrash and Black Metal but leaning more to the Black side. The main core of the song, the “chorus” if you will, is very dark and sounds a bit like Immortal at times. The tune features excellent and well timed alterations between various speeds and tempos, thanks mainly to Murdryck’s brilliant drummer, as well as a fantastic guitar solo.
“Metamorphosis” is the next song. What a tune this one!! It starts with a slow paced nostalgic riff and an excellent bass line at the same time, only to halt and transform into a blast-beat induced screaming Black Metal attack. The tempo alters between mad-speed blast-beats and slower double pedal drums for most of the song. However; the tune slows down about half way (recurring theme in the album by now) with more melancholic melodic sequences and a brilliant bass line too. An awesome solo occurs only to lead us back to all out full scale Marduk-like assault to the senses….again!!
The album continues with “Blood on The King’s Hands”. This song starts with a nice bass line and some words in Swedish. Despite the fact that i don’t speak Swedish, I must admit it sounds quite atmospheric, in Black Metal at least. As for the actual tune, it starts with a slow-mid tempo that brings to mind classic Swedish Death Metal bands. About a minute into the song though things change. The riffs transform themselves into a proper sinister Black Metal sequence. Needless to say that the speed at this point is supersonic (blast-beats again) and the vocals sound like screams from the depths of Hell. From this point till the end of the song the riffs are insane and the tempo brilliantly changes between supersonic blast-beast and slower double-pedal drums. Murdryck have managed to make this tune sound melancholic, nostalgic and sinister at the same time.
“Hymnes Svarta Toner” is the next tune. This song is quite different to everything up to now and for that reason it’s my personal favourite.. It starts like a DSBM tune, melancholic, depressive and with awesome ferocious vocals. Most of the riffs are in the minor and manage to create some sort of anxiety to the listener (which was obviously intended by the band and yes it does work!!!!). The song is quite atmospheric too, despite the fact that no synths are used, and has nice tremolo picking micro-solos. The tune moves along these lines for most of its duration and by the time it ends you’re left with a feeling of depressing pleasure.
Murdryck continue this album’s Black Metal epic journey with “ Under torn constellations”. Horror movie-like cellos for intro. Not for long though because as soon as you get accustomed to them a proper Black Metal riff and awesome double pedal drums (without increasing the speed though) kick in. The song is generally slow and the vocals are infernal. It sounds more like Death than Black Metal, with the singer’s voice being the only exception. The second half of the song is basically an alteration between Death and Black Metal riffs (a kind of cross between Dismember and Marduk I’d say). There’s a nice little solo in the tune too (a Murdryck trademark by now) and by the end of it the music gets sinister and evil.
The last song of the album is the 7 minute long anthem “Throne of Shattered Divinity”. This tune is full of very dark riffs and very fierce vocals. The speeds are insane and the guitars have this familiar high pitched stormy sound. Two minutes into the song though and things slow down. At this point synths are used in the background and fantastic bass lines accompany them. At this point the riffs are excellent and very very Black Metal and at the same time melodic. Some solos near the end of the tune and an epic ending, finish this tune and the album.
In short, Murdryck is an awesome band. Generally speaking their sound is proper Black Metal with obvious elements of other styles in it (Death, Thrash even Doom). Their album is very well produced and as a result you can hear everything, all the instruments. The singer’s awesome infernal fierce voice counts as another instrument in this band. On top of this they are very talented musicians, they do know how to play their instrument and that shows straight away. Although they have many different influences i think that their main basic influence is Marduk. Recommended without a doubt to all Swedish Death/Black Metal fans. They are now one of my favourite bands.