Minas Morgul – “Kult” (Trollzorn)
It’s been 20 years since this German black metal band walked this earth, and without any let up, they bring us their new – and 6th album – simply titled “Kult”! With an undoubted Lord Of The Rings influence, their name is taken itself from the dark tower of black sorcery, this Teutonic sextet rage and blast beat effortlessly, but equally, they offer more with cinematic elements, plenty of powerful atmosphere through a liberal use of pagan melodies and occasionally socially conscious lyrics allowing for a different take on the 10 epic tracks here. Hugely popular in their native Germany recording split releases with Varg, on this album Robse from Equilibrium gives a throaty tribute on one of the tracks. Driven by the twin guitars of Saule and Herr Ewald that chunder like a battalion of orcs while dexterously playing Elvish pagan melodies off one another throughout the passionate material, 13R13’s truly versatile vocals capture the full range from orc rants a la Primordial to uruk hai roars and nazgul screams, adding even more emotion to the already rich material. Backed by the aptly named Berserk on drums, whose intensity is only matched by his precision, comes Jens keyboards that more than make their mark in adding that film score dimension to the incredible music here – little wonder that the band don’t seem to have a need to dress up onstage what with the wondrous music they put on show here. From ‘XX’ with its dark drawls and dirty chugging riffing contrasting brilliantly with metallic clanging melodies and bestial screaming before epic melodies and militaristic snare come in to the more frantic ‘Scherben’ which is reminiscent of Dissection with its intricate fret board melodies but again has an ambient mid piece that adds to its powerful atmosphere and where 13R13’s impassioned vocals are the emotional icing on this very rich cake indeed. No better is this melodic power definitive than on ‘Ein Teil von mir’ with its keyboard / acoustic intro and 13R13’s soulful singing before an enshrouding blackness comes in like Sauron himself accompanied by precision double bass beats and dark drawls, although the passionate keys remain omnipresent throughout, adding a melancholic touch that irresistibly reaches into your heart and remains long after the track has ended. Clearly a band with huge amounts of talent, “Kult” proves why Minas Morgul are an underground fave, but equally why they beckon to be heard by more…..