Carpathian Forest - _Morbid Fascination of Death_
(Avantgarde, 2001)
by: Matthias Noll (5 out of 10)
Carpathian Forest are being hailed as one of the few Norwegian black metal acts that didn't compromise and still worship the "old" sound. The meaning of "old" is rather the mid-period Sodom style of Motoerhead influenced Teutonic thrash than _De Mysteriis dom Sathanas_-era Mayhem or the necro sound of early Emperor or mid-period Darkthrone on _Under a Funeral Moon_. Carpathian Forest are heavy in a simple, grooving way and do have a few odd tracks which ignore the formula applied to the majority of their songs and feature untrue instruments like saxophones and eerie sound effects. CF's previous album _Strange Old Brew_ does work quite well for me and is a nice and simple piece of blackened metal with rasping vocals in a world of modern day Emperor, Zyklon, Satyricon, etc.. _Morbid Fascination of Death_ got recorded during the same session as _Strange Old Brew_ and features Tchort on bass and Anders Kobro (In the Woods...) on drums supporting CF mainmen Nattefrost and Nordavind. At first this seemed to guarantee a consistent level of quality between the two records. After listening to _MFoD_ I'm strongly suspecting that what's getting served this time are the inferior parts of the year 2000 sessions in the guise of a new record. With the exception of re-recorded demo track "Knokkelman" and the Mayhem cover "Ghoul", there's not much on _Morbid Fascination of Death_ to get excited about. It's certainly not the production' fault, as it is loud and powerful in a clear and clean way. The majority of the song material is downright boring this time. Unfortunately, _MFoD_ turns out to be a superfluous release and a pretty weak follow-up to the convincing _Strange Old Brew_ (8 out of 10 in my books).

(article published 12/4/2002)

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