Mórpheus - _Delomelanicon_
by: James Montague (4 out of 5)
Given that most demos fall squarely into genre-defined pigeon holes, a reviewer can usually achieve a rapid turnover, citing a few obvious references and rating the new band on its cloning ability within one or two listens. Other times, the demo is so dull that you can't even be bothered name-dropping. This debut recording from the Greek black/death quintet Mórpheus took almost three months to make its way from my stereo to my keyboard, but don't think for a second that boredom was the cause. It was actually a combination of laziness, and the fact that _Delomelanicon_ defied my original perception.

Noting that of the four tracks, two were keyboard instrumentals, I prepared myself to be buried in another mound of uninspired, synth-driven, melodic black metal drivel. But I'll be damned, the intro was actually quite a dramatic and well-conceived piece of Wagnerian bombast, replete with thunderous timpani effects. It led seamlessly into an explosive pair of hymns, with some truly malicious riffs, mesmerizing bass drum pedalling and a tantalizing blend of blackened screams and roaring death vocals. The mid-point of the title track, in particular, features an excellent layering of the vocal styles that contributes to a memorable crescendo. Keyboards are used extensively throughout a crisp and powerful recording, and while occasionally redundant, they more often than not enhance the songs, placing Mórpheus head and shoulders above many amateurs who butcher their riffs with an ill-thought-out synth coating.

Just three years into their existence, Mórpheus have utilized an astonishing fifteen band members, eight of whom contributed to this recording. This is a sign of their ambition and perfectionism, and I'm sure this excellent demo will serve as a first step to fulfilment.

(Note: CD is distributed free of charge but limited to 500 copies. Tracks also available for download in their full versions at the contact URL.)

Contact: http://www.the-morpheus.com

(article published 3/9/2004)

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