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Track By Tracks: Moratory - The Old Tower Burns (2021)


1. The Haunting Eye:

The album start seems rather standart at first. In vein of modern thrash or death metal bands, slow riffs building up weight along with some fragmentary voice ranting about dystopian future. As intro dust settles, the main riff kicks in and from there the album gets a much more rough start. Band clearly doesn't wish you a pleasant ride. Vocals are constantly peaking and lyrics follow by picturing a hideously real world of total surveillance. You'll notice pretty fast that this isn't your classic 'concept' album but something very close to it, with instrumental details reflecting lyric narrative.

2. Wagner's Path:

Short and sharp d-beat. Unlike the previous one, this track is very simple, deliberately following the most primitive patterns. While being "anti-war", the song almost pretends to be a military march with its battling drums, repetitive melodies and loud short phrases in verses. By the way, its first version didn't even have a Wagner's reference as an intro (you can see it in band's 2020' rehearsal video). This idea came up much later.

3. Dances of the Damned:

One of band's guitarist, Conan is a diehard fan of speed metal, fast-paced squealing solos and rumbling riffs and this song is clearly his domain. Bassline also reaching it's peak velocity here. Lyrics relate to song's tension by describing perplexing scenes of the world of cyberpunk. Track finale concludes these themes using a sample from "Blade Runner" movie.

4. Project: Humankind:

The most rock-n-roll song of the album, this one has kinda generic lyrics and a much slower developing structure, but rather relies more on delivering vast set of riffs and expanded musical themes. Loads of guitar slides, big series of downstrokes and probably the most sophisticated snare drums dynamics. Backing vocals play a big part here, as they are quite detached from the main vocal line.

5. Infodemia:

Track opens with a massive intro which is the slowest part of the album. It accumulates tension and crawls into your ear representing the spread of world biggest pandemic, which is of course information. Song includes a lot of string bends building microtonal harmonies/dissonances. Main part doubles the tempo and features frequent drumrolls, shreds and string weeps. Relating to song lyrics about mass paranoia and desperation, its instrumentals jump from straight forward thrash riffs to nearly surf tremolos mixed with blast beats.

6. Green Serpent Fever:

There always should be a black sheep on the album, a song that without any obvious reasons gets the least cheers. Funny because this one IS about "cheers", alcohol and its dark side (according to the lyrics, it's also the only side). The idea behind the instrumentals here was to create an "out of bounds" feeling, the real mad drunk vibe, heavily mixing minor and major scales, downbeat and upbeat rhythms with almost faltering drums, tempo drops, and acceleration. Also to mention a very 80's Black Sabbath / Iron Maiden-inspired part in the middle.

7. Genocide State:

The track takes inspiration from various Swedish bands from Avskum to Nifelheim. Although there is a dramatic climax in the middle, the rest of its structure is pretty much straightforward, developing two main riffs. On the other hand, drums are not as simple, throwing in lots of tomes, which sometimes replace snare drum and fall on the various beats from bar to bar. Also bass uses a huge set of odd bends, creating its own anxious melody line with microtones. All these little features help to emphasize expressive vocals, which sound the alarm of state violence.

8. The Old Tower:

Clearly, the band's classic take on "epic title track, that features EVERYTHING". Tempo jumps, various riffs, rhythm shifts, odd signatures, chorus singalongs, solos everywhere, you name it. Yet again, it is very in line with lyrics: a song about rebellion, fall of the regime just has to be overwhelming. Every component is seriously saturated, but probably the hottest parts are very accented vocal chants over detailed guitar runs and complex chords.

9. Fuck and Divide:

By popular demand, the band delivers a reissue of its banger song from the previous EP with lyrics translated to English. It was quite simple in-your-face metal punk stuff, with the very basic structure and catchy melodies. It didn't change that much as a whole, well, except better sound quality, mixing, instrument performance, vocals, much more clear guitar playing, etc. Although the band tried to ruin the track with the "quality" as hard as it could, and the song might have lost some of its basement beauty, it still kicks.

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