Milosz Gassan: Guitar / Vocals
Paul Rajpal: Guitar
Morgan Coe: Bass
Billy Knockenhauer: Drums
The stylistic pyroclasm of MORNE's bleak, extreme but reachable metal did not happen overnight. Since their 2009 debut album, Untold Wait, the Boston-based four-piece have made simple categorizations like 'doom' or even 'metal' laughable, and their latest and fifth full-length, Engraved With Pain, refines their attack to a level toward which even 2018's To the Night Unknown could only hint.
Playing out across four chapters, the 40-minute album sees the veteran outfit - yes, all the festivals, including Roadburn, Hellfest, etc.; tours and tours and tours - crafting rhythmic tension and lung-squeezing atmospheres as Polish-born guitarist/vocalist Miłosz Gassan emits layered guttural shouts that speak to inner and outer crises. Engraved With Pain makes its title believable, and from its eponymous opener through "Memories Like Stone," "Wretched Empire" and "Fire and Dust," it carries humanity individually and collectively through the realities of its decline. As a species, it's hard to argue we didn't have it coming.
"'Wretched Empire' lyrically is my take on current situation in the world," says Gassan. "How divided everything is and how people are prone to being misled. How we forget our history. History that happened not that long ago. I never comment on my lyrics but maybe in this case it's needed. I call humanity a wretched empire. It's not an optimistic song."
Spacious, crushing, darkly thoughtful enough to be progressive but never so indulgent as to lose sight of its core message, Engraved With Pain was recorded with legendary producer Kurt Ballou at GodCity Studio in Salem, Massachusetts.
Gassan adds: "I think between music and lyrics this album carries a lot of weight which Kurt perfectly captured, I can say that we are very satisfied with it. A lot of energy was pushed into making it."
For MORNE, Engraved With Pain is a moment of grim triumph, as rooted in Celtic Frost as in Ministry, still somehow extrapolated from the gods Black Sabbath and characteristic of no one so much as themselves. A document that speaks directly to future historians looking back and wondering just where the hell it all went so wrong. Imagine a Rosetta Stone for the sixth great extinction.
Expect MORNE to spread this cruel, unflinchingly honest manifestation with foreign and domestic touring, as they continue to stake their position at the forefront of underground consciousness with the support of (also legendary) Metal Blade Records and their finest work to-date behind them.