Mortichnia – Heir to Scoria and Ash (Apocalyptic Witchcraft)

Sunday, 20th March 2016
Rating: 8/10

Brevity can be a lost art, especially in black metal where bands often tend to overstate their goals knowing there’s probably no way they’ll be able to “summon the horned one from the depths through this infernal masquerade.” You get the idea. For Dublin, Ireland’s Mortichnia, they prefer the simple route when stating their goals: “Mortichnia was created with the shared goal of creating modern black metal with a cold and unforgiving edge.” Sounds plausible enough. On the band’s Heir to Scoria and Ash debut, the Irishmen certainly accomplish that and more, emerging as the Irish answer to Scandinavian black metal.

And that’s really the root of the matter: Mortichnia sounds very Scandinavian. With little black metal to draw upon from their home country (the first band that comes to mind is Altar of Plagues, who were hardly “all black”), Mortichnia have traversed a familiar, but commendable course, blending the wily and spry arrangements of today’s black metal (i.e. long songs, long structures), with the key, and domineering riff scapes made essential by Dissection, along with the atmospheric breaks often employed by the above-mentioned Altar of Plagues. (see: “The Wanting”) But within the album’s core songs, there is enough hard, and rigid affronts, blasting, and dissonance to make things go, most notably on “A Furious Withering,” a number that jostles between disharmony and harmony with relative ease.

Likely to get some attention for the fact they’re an Irish black metal outfit (read: they’re not plentiful, so gobble ‘em up), Mortichnia have composed a feisty, heady album with Heir to Scoria and Ash. A true career pace-setter of an LP, Mortichnia, in all likelihood, will soon be considered the face of whatever constituents black metal in Ireland.

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