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Demo(n)s

Morbid Saint: Destruction system

04/01/11  ||  Habakuk

Why the fuck do I write all these demo reviews? Well, just consider it material for your next Internet debate about who’s the most old schoolest underground dvde on YouTube. I can’t give you a better explanation other than “I like this stuff” and “I consider it worth listening to”. Today’s subject: Morbid Saint, Wisconsin-based, overlooked, awesome.

It’s symptomatic for this band that their brilliant debut didn’t stir things up enough for them to land a deal for their second try. Hence, the second album “Destruction system” never left demo stage, and the highest honors it got was to provide the bonus tracks for “Spectrum of death”‘s re-release. Wahoooo!

These days, the band are apparently trying to profit from their “cult” status (which came a few years too late) by trying to get up and running again, but I won’t hold my breath for that. As of now, “Destruction system” is their last recording and it’s actually a step in a slightly different direction than the all-out speed barrage of the first album. These guys didn’t disembark from the thrash train, don’t worry, but they chose to vary things a little bit more – not exactly your typical demo, this, being more varied than a full-length. And no, they did not go “groove thrash” either, like seemingly everybody else at the time – although the following description might sound a bit like it… fear not, thrashaholics:

They took their somewhat blackened thrash sound, added a bit more bass focus, slowed the tempo down to incorporate more mid-tempo headbanging sections and bad-ass riffing (see the beginning to “Depths of sanity” or “Living in Misery” for example) and also slowed the all-out thrash parts down a bit, from the ridiculously fast playing on the debut to more conventional, but still damn fast thrashing. So, it’s really a new generation of their arguably one-dimensional sound on the first full-length, yet still sporting the unfuckwithable riffing. The vocals are the same raspy shouts as before, ranging from awesome to borderline annoying at very few times, where some final refurbishing would have been used on an actual album. And that final touch is also what prevents the whole album from being a near-perfect piece of thrash. The sound is lacking the production to provide some more punch for more the material that leans further towards groove rather than speed – it doesn’t fall flat, but it’s very clear that a decent production job would have done wonders here.

A shame, since it’s nothing to really blame the band for, whose performances are fantastic. They could have taken off considerably well, but seemingly became a victim of the times this material was produced in. So, listening to “Destruction system” is a good opportunity for all you nostalgics to shed a thrash tear, mourn the times gone by and bitch about the youth of today. Getting older will never feel so good again.

7.5

  • Information
  • Released: 1992
  • Website: www.morbidsaint.com
  • Band
  • Pat Lind: vocals
  • JayVisser: guitars
  • Jim Fergades: guitars
  • Gary Beimel: bass
  • Lee Reynolds: drums
  • Tracklist
  • 01. Darkness unseen
  • 02. Depth of sanity
  • 03. Final exit
  • 04. Destruction system
  • 05. Disciples of discipline
  • 06. Halls of terror
  • 07. Living misery
  • 08. Sign of the times