Mortuary Drape - _Tolling 13 Knell_
(Iron Pegasus, 2001)
by: Alvin Wee (8.5 out of 10)
Certainly a relief to see these legendary Italians getting the sort of distribution they've been lacking throughout their fourteen-year existence: the two previous releases have been a pain for most to lay their hands on. A cult this hallowed deserves more than a pedestrian CD release, and Iron Pegasus once again do a handsome double-vinyl presentation of this long-awaited masterpiece. A refreshing breath of dank dungeon air in this commercial age, as the typically necromantic cover suggests; long-time devotees will recognize the classic 'Drape sound polished up and surprisingly lively, yet retaining the infernal darkness so prized on their early rituals. For the uninitiated, _Tolling 13 Knell_ might prove an excellent accompaniment to the old Necromantia/Varathron-type records lying in your basement, though it's likely anyone familiar with those would already be a part of the 'Drape fellowship. Describing the album as anything other than "old-school Greek" is a futile exercise; Mortuary Drape's classic combination of heavy metal sentiment with utterly necro riffing is something that defies explanation altogether. Atmosphere is of prime value it seems, and _T13K_ absolutely reeks of the same damp caverns and dripping dungeons first seen on Barathrum's early albums (remember _Hailstorm_?), although it must be said that the band's 1992 _Into the Drape_ impressed me far more with its black-mass-in-a-chapel ambience. Not to waste any more words on what is either an essential or worthless album, depending on your orientation, this vinyl version comes more highly recommended than the CD: if not for the impressive layout (gold vinyl), then for the four(!!) bonus tracks tacked on at the end.


(article published 14/1/2002)

7/2/2008 Q Kalis 8 Mortuary Drape - Into the Catachthonium
3/31/2005 J Montague 9 Mortuary Drape - Buried in Time
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