Album Critique: MORAL PUTREFACTION Moral Putrefaction

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Exploring the harsh and violent facets of their countries’ pasts has been a common theme in the realm of metal music. While India possesses a vast repository of tales to delve into, the metal scene in the country is still budding compared to nations with more established heavy music traditions. Nevertheless, the band Moral Putrefaction from Chennai is among the many groups endeavoring to propel India’s presence in the metal genre forward with their vigorous style of raw death metal.

As per the band’s press statement for their eponymous debut album: “India finds itself on the brink of an astonishing era, reclaiming its contested historical and religious heritage. In a stance of resistance, Moral Putrefaction‘s inaugural album challenges the prevalent narratives, delving deep into the intricate tapestry of the nation’s diverse cultural landscape. Addressing issues from opposing caste discrimination and political malpractice to unveiling the atrocities of colonialism and religious fanaticism, each track portrays the struggles and resilience of a nation navigating through its tumultuous past and uncertain future.”

Emphasizing this narrative, the album’s cover presents a daunting portrayal of horror, sacrifice, and unearthly terrors — reflections of our internalized dread towards the realities of our world. Therefore, the band’s death metal onslaught serves as the perfect sonic conduit for this historical terror.

Citing influences such as Morbid Angel, Immolation, Bloodbath, and Gorguts, the band draws inspiration. It’s evident that Morbid Angel and Immolation are the prominent predecessors of their style. Musically, the band’s compositions echo the era of Domination by Morbid Angel and Immolation since Majesty and Decay. The vocal delivery by Shiva Moorthy strongly resembles that of Ross Dolan of Immolation. Moreover, certain sections of the album bring to mind the recent works of David Vincent with Vlitmas. Additionally, there are instances that evoke tones of Hate Eternal, Krisiun, and some newer materials of Vader.

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The opening track “Divided” paints a magnanimous picture with spiraling riffs and powerful vocals, encapsulating a profound sense of despair with the guitar solo. It showcases the band’s knack for hooks that captivate the listener with every chord progression and drumbeat. This is succeeded by the remarkable “Serpent’s Gaze”, where the drumming skills of Hemanth Vinod shine. The rhythms oscillate between steady and erratic, enhancing the song’s mesmerizing ambiance of pandemonium.

Other noteworthy tracks include the relentless assault of “Divine Retribution”, which could seamlessly fit into a Dying Fetus compilation. Pay attention to the riffing segment around the 2:30 mark to grasp the essence. Also, commendable is the grand and climactic final track, “Beneath Saffron Skies”, a culmination of the band’s influences and emotions — wrapping the diverse themes of the album in a tempest of palm-muted guitar salvos.

If you seek an up-and-coming band that delivers a consistently powerful modern death metal sound, Moral Putrefaction is worth a listen. Their style navigates a middle ground, heavy yet not as aggressive as slam, impressive yet not overly technical, and recognizable yet with a unique twist on an established sound. 

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