Rites and Curses
November 20, 2023
One of the biggest achievements of the Norwegian Black Metal scene in the early days of the 90s was to project the musical scene of the country to the world. These words mean that after the interest for the genre started to decrease, a lot of Norwegian Metal genres (and even Rock and Pop genres as well) came to be known. Today, from Heavy Metal to Black Metal, passing by Thrash Metal and Death Metal, and even Glam Metal and Pop Rock showing their values, the musical Norwegian scene is known on all the Earth. And this is the reason that an EP as “Rites and Curses” of the one man band MORAX isn’t something surprising for Norway, but it’s good.
The name of Remi (the sole member of the band) in known for his works with HJELVIK (if don’t known the band, look for it), VERMIN RIFT, and INCULTER, but here he presents a different work: it’s a form of traditional Heavy Metal of the 80s, in those ways that belongs to the Left Hand Path, or in other words, the dark Side of Heavy Metal popularized by acts as MERCYFUL FATE (pay attention to the guitars on “Adoration”) and ANGEL WITCH: melodic guitars, hooking and strong choruses, a solid work of bass guitar and drums, and all those excellent stuff with a sober and not exaggerated technical approach. And it’s always good to hear to it when its honest and different from anything else, even using such old formula. It’s obvious that Remi took the responsibility to produce “Rites and Curses”, with Patrick W. Engel making the mastering at Temple Of Disharmony. All efforts were done to make things organic and simple, but obviously guaranteeing that anyone can understand what’s being played. It’s heavy and distorted, but as a traditional Heavy Metal work, it’s defined as well.
“Face the Reaper” is based on excellent melodies and a rush of energy that binds the hearers at first listening (with very good guitar riffs and ambiences), the same happening on “Be My Guillotine” (but this one has a more melodic direction, with a good work on bass guitar and drums). Even more focused on the melodic aspects of the genre is “Yours Now” that brings a sensation similar to GHOST on “Opus Eponymous” days on the simple arrangements (but heavier, without keyboards and with charming clean vocals and charming guitar themes). “Adoration” is a short and guitar orientated appeal with that same melodic and classic music essence that one can hear on MERCYFUL FATE’s “To One Far Away”. And “The Curse” comes to close the EP with a very good combination between weight, melodies and aggressiveness that is excellent.
MORAX seems to not be a studio band in the future, and is preparing a new album to come to light in the near future. But until the album is out, “Rites and Curses” is a fine sample of what it can bring to the fans of the genre. Something great is coming this way soon!
9 / 10