‘To The Night Unknown’ is the fourth album by American extreme metal heavyweights Morne. For those of you who need a little introduction, this Boston based four-piece was established back in 2005, since their inception they have released 3 albums and travelled the United States, Canada and Europe, bringing their unique blend of styles to metal heads all over. After 5 long years since their last album, ‘Shadows’, they are storming back into the spotlight showing that they have lost none of their fire in their long absence from the studio.
First impressions are often thought of as critically important to any introduction, and ‘To the Night Unknown’ is a testament to the accuracy of that statement. From the elegantly dark album artwork to the blistering opening track, Morne has laid down this albums tone in concrete within the first few minutes with bone crushing riffs and an unwavering commitment to all things slow, long and heavy. It is honestly hard to nail down exactly where this album sits in the hazy maze of metal subgenres, but it undoubtedly bleeds doom across every moment of its impressive 64 minute run time.
After several days and several full play throughs I am still drawn back to the albums title track. It’s raw power is a forceful demonstration that Morne have lost none of their touch in their absence, on the contrary they have come back with a burning vengeance. The deeply embedded sense of bleakness set by the atmosphere moments are reinforced by the very well written and deliberately vague lyrics, leaving the listener to interpret the album as they see fit. In fact there isn’t really a box that ‘To the Night Unknown’ does not tick, the first half of the album in particular throws some incredibly good riffs down and lets you savour them, taking in every single note, and there is a vast amount to take in.
With an album this long it’s impressive that there’s no sense of drag pulling if down. Across each of the eight tracks the relentless driving force is in full swing from start to finish, even in more ambient moments. The forth track ‘Scorn’ is a perfect example of this, between the sweeping solos, gripping vocals and chugging guitars my attention was firmly held by every note that poured out of my headphones. Add the gentle transition into the next song and suddenly you’ve lost track of time in your engagement with Morne’s magic. This albums great strength in consistency and very long runs on the same melody also perhaps the only chink in its armour in my opinion, purely because if a particular line doesn’t take your fancy you will be stuck with it, for quite a while in some cases. That being said I doubt that will be the case for very many, and either way with such a vast album there is more than enough to enjoy.
From punching guitars and blasting drums to commanding vocals and brilliant atmosphere, Morne has filled this album with everything even the most discerning metal connoisseurs desire. It is extremely difficult to pack such a long and constantly surprising album into just a short few paragraphs, but between every riff, every solo and every lull there was a constant thread of excellence that shows the expertise over a decade in the industry gives.
‘To the Night Unknown’ arrives on the 7th of September and can be pre-ordered HERE!