By sheer coincidence, this marks the second premiere we’re hosting today from a band who are returning with a new recording seven years after their last one. This time the band is the Dutch quartet Morvigor, coming back from their hiatus with a new EP named De Spiegel that will be co-released on February 26th by Onism Productions and Vita Detestabilis.
We also hosted a premiere in the run-up to Morvigor‘s last album, 2017’s Tyrant. At that time, having overlooked the band’s full-length debut (2014’s A Tale of Suffering), we didn’t know what to expect. But when this same writer first heard that song we premiered, I wrote that “it felt like someone had stuck a live power line straight into my brain stem, by which I mean it is an absolutely electrifying surprise — one of the best new discoveries of this rapidly waning year”.
Having been stunned by Tyrant, this time it will be more difficult for me to come away surprised by Morvigor‘s multi-faceted, genre-bending sounds and their adventurous approach to song-writing. But that doesn’t make De Spiegel any less startling, as you’ll discover for yourselves when you listen to “Midden in de wereld“.
Photo by Renate van der Pijl
Introduced by a mysterious and intriguing collage of ambient sounds, this new song soon takes off in a fusillade of hammering beats and guitars that frantically writhe and wail above a heavily bubbling bass. The layered sensations are dense but also piercing, both wild and desperate, and the howling and screaming vocals are if anything even more distraught and damaged.
The opening minutes are geared toward elevating a listener’s adrenaline levels, getting pulses firing and hearts pounding. But Morvigor being Morvigor, they begin to mutate the music, making the drums tumble and pop and the bass to throb, providing a prelude to a rapid, viscerally thrusting groove and then vocals that soar even higher in their unhinged, larynx-rupturing extravagance.
The chords ring and roil, crash and convulse, and there’s no relent in the rhythm section’s muscle-moving and bone-bruising impacts, but with about three minutes left the tumult abates, a guitar sizzles like a mind on the grill, and a voice yells and shrieks proclamations in the utmost extremes of agony. That voice is spine-tingling but frightening.
And then comes the finale — a crescendo of booming percussion, subterranean bass upheavals, and guitars that ring like sirens of the apocalypse.
The song you’ve now heard is one of two long-form pieces on the new EP, collectively running for more than 20 minutes. We’ll share here some further thoughts about the music from the two labels:
“Morvigor embodies expressive black metal, their elongated missives are propelled forward with an energy that makes their unorthodox approach feel visceral and vital. Mixing both clean and harsh vocals, abrasive sounds, and more mellow, ambient passages, the band invites us to join them on a journey that willfully wanders off the beaten track. The scope of their music veers towards the cinematic as they sweep through progressive and post-metal territory, while the embrace of blistering black metal is rarely far from sight.
“Although they view their cryptic lyrics as an inessential part of the Morvigor experience, they traverse themes of existentialism, absurdism, and philosophical thought anchored in feelings of alienation, curiosity, anxiety, and wonder.”
De Spiegel was recorded in 2022 in The Netherlands, and it was then mixed by Daniel Souza and mastered by Jack Shirley. It will be released on CD, vinyl, tape, and digital formats, and you can find more info via the links below.
Sytze Andringa – Guitar, clean vocals
Stefan van Delft – Guitar
Brendan Duffy – Drums
Evio Paauw – Bass, vocals, lyrics