Lowest Depths of Misery


French band MORGUE's latest album "Lowest Depths of Misery" is a study in man's descent […]
January 1, 2023
Morgue - Lowest Depths of Misery album cover

French band MORGUE's latest album "Lowest Depths of Misery" is a study in man's descent to the bottom. It's an album that exists at the final edge of life: the sounds you would hear as you were led to the gallow's pole in chains.  It's the sound of looking down- be that the barrel of a gun; the muddy, blood-soiled ground at your feet; or your own name chiseled into stone at the head of a six-foot hole. Their brand of brutal death metal, sprinkled with blackened blood-splatters and gashes of grindcore, exudes pain, disgust and anger. The decision has been made.  At worst, you'll spend eternity in the grips of Satan's man-cave. "You're not worth," growls singer M. Lobier on the song's opening track "a soul condemned to hell." But, most likely, that descent simply leads to that muddy hole in the ground, where we are destined to decompose and go back to the primordial ooze.

That first song "Transcend the Acheron" starts with an ominous stab of keyboard and strings before blasting into some brutal death metal acts of aggravated assault. The musicianship roils, rolls, and rampages from one end of three minutes to the other. Transitions come fully broadcasted, resulting in another thrill ride of riffage mania.  The pieces on this album are all hard-edged, like the blood-covered tip of a sword.  They drip in deliberate ugliness. The slower parts tend to engage with the lower end of the sonic spectrum, and give a pathos to the acid-drenched vocals of Lobier. Lobier sings of ending it all on fifth song "Down Syndrome". "Kill your heroes and stab yourself. I attempted quite a few times," he screams in a desperate last plea for respite from the trauma of being able to breathe. "Eyes that saw too much pain are not used to see anything else" (sic). The song isn't about the genetically inherited disorder associated with an extra chromosome.  The song is about the syndrome of being down- the collective symptoms that lead a person down the path of the most ultimate self-loathing possible, and the hell that encompasses it.

"Roads of Gehanna" is an album highlight. It starts off in a conflagrated fury of  fiery blasts of brutal death metal histrionics.  It's as if the band has set alight the cemetery with their flamethrowers and are waiting until all of the souls of the damned are charred pieces of maggot-infested human flesh before they can celebrate. Gehanna was an area of ancient Jerusaleum, where the souls of the damned were doomed for eternity. "There will be no last call," MORGUE exclaim. "This will be no hard toil getting rid of this all."  After about two minutes of relentless death metal brutality, the group slips into what's the most dramatic turn on the album.  It's an ambient wash of metal guitars being tremolo picked over an incredible drum beat that harkens of old IMMORTAL or ENSLAVED.

The album closes with "Safe in Gods Care." It's an ironic name for an album filled with despair, hatred and violence. God's care exists only insofar as it takes care of its most doomed and defeated.  When you're ready to end it all, and God's not there, isn't that just as bad as if he was, in fact, there?  "Lowest Depths of Misery" postulates that when we are at the abyss of our existence, we are already walking amidst the caves of hell.  And in that case, God caused it- which makes him suck.  Or if it just happened like that,  that would suck as well.  So it's easier just to assume there is no God, and the Acheron is just a river in Greece rather than a portal to the underworld.  Or Gehanna is just a plot of unbearable desert land off the silk road rather than a sacred dungeon for the souls of the damned. What's done is done, screams MORGUE.  And they mean it, literally.

The brevity of the songs, and the amount of variety MORGUE packs into three or four minutes is impressive: it's brutal death metal stripped to the bones. That being said, the album could benefit from more creativity in terms of the song structures and vocals.  There are risks to be had, and MORGUE is perfectly aligned to grab these and pummel them into caustic bits of death metal glory.  As a soundtrack for the internal terror fest that comes with depression and questioning why you're even here, "Lowest Depths of Misery" offers an opportunity to get lost for a while, and let this two-man band shoulder the pain for you.  And that's the best that metal has to offer: a respite from life at its dreariest.

6 / 10

Had Potential








"Lowest Depths of Misery" Track-listing:

1. Transcend the Acheron
2. Polar Aftermath
3. That Which Does Not Live
4. House of the Departed
5. Down Syndrome
6. Roads to Gehenna
7. Walls of Dis
8. Hug and a Stab in the Back
9. Safe in Gods Care

Morgue Lineup:

M. Lobier - Vocals, Guitars, Drums
J. Blandino - Bass

linkcrossmenucross-circle linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram