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Morbid Carnage - "Night Assassins" (CD)

Morbid Carnage - "Night Assassins" CD cover image

"Night Assassins" track listing:

1. Warlust (5:24)
2. Slaughtering (3:35)
3. Funeral Pyre (5:34)
4. Empty Graves (4:44)
5. Deviant (4:40)
6. Castle In Pain (7:09)
7. Night Assassins (5:20)

Reviewed by on August 23, 2010

"The album is not a total wash, but nothing on it will raise more than a slight eyebrow from thrash fans."

Mörbid Carnage is another band in a long line of up-and-coming thrash metal acts looking to add their own touch to a style that has been beaten like a stuffed mule for the past three decades. Everything about this band screams generic, from the cheesy leather jackets to the “evil” lyrics praising demons and other unworldly beings. The music on debut album “Night Assassins” is stuck in the late 80’s/early 90’s period of the genre, when bands decided that three minutes wasn’t enough to get their point across. The songs are lengthy, the tempos never change, and the mindset of the guitarists is that the more whammy bar used, the better. “Night Assassins” has an overused sound that brings no freshness to the formula that thousands have copied over the years.

The one thing that Mörbid Carnage does a credible job with is emoting energy into their music. The band knows their way around a riff and can work that to some limited enjoyment. The explosive opening to “Warlust” is an exhilarating start to the album, but the band never quite builds off of that performance. A few notable riffs stand out, though none of them are in a category all their own. The closing title track ends things on a bright note after a series of mediocre tracks and “Funeral Pyre” is the only track over five minutes that remains interesting the whole way through.

The rest of the longer tracks don’t do much with the extended time. The structure of each song is very strict and repeated excessively, to the point of contracting the “St. Anger” syndrome that infected Metallica back in 2003. Most guilty of this is the plodding “Castle in Pain,” a seven-minute snooze-fest that goes by with little flash. An epic guitar solo at the end saves the track, but it’s not worth six minutes of dullness to get to that point. The band seems to have solid foundations to work with on every track, and the potential is there; it’s just that the band wastes the opportunity to build a progressive style with the track lengths.

Creativity is non-existent in most aspects of the album, including the Mille Petrozza meets John Tardy vocals from Blasphemy that never changes in tone. The lead work is terrible, repetitive slices of whammy pizza that even Kerry King would toss in the trash for being too stale. It’s like the band took one solo and wrote it that way for the rest of the album, just changing a note or two along the way. Blasphemy also performs all the drumming to effective results, showing that he should stick with what he knows and leave the vocals to somebody else with experience.

Mörbid Carnage is a band that likes to have a good time and this carefree nature is evident on “Night Assassins.” The album isn't a total wash, but nothing on it will raise more than a slight eyebrow from thrash fans. Even the most diligent of listeners will find the album to be nothing more than average to above-average. The band doesn’t do anything reckless like attempt a ballad or incorporate unnecessary interludes, though that might have at least injected some life into the lackluster epics that lay dormant on “Night Assassins.”

Highs: Solid passion and power in the music, "Warlust" starts the album out on a high note.

Lows: Nothing else comes close to "Warlust," songs are too long, terrible lead work.

Bottom line: A plain and average debut album that has a few notable riffs and not much else.

Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls
2.5 out of 5 skulls

Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)