Mortuary Drape - Tolling 13 Knell review


13 users:
Band: Mortuary Drape
Album: Tolling 13 Knell
Release date: 2000

01. Dreadful Discovery
02. Liar Jubileum
03. Vertical
04. Not Still Born (The Unborn Plane)
05. Laylah
06. Winged Priestess
07. The Last Supper
08. Birth's End
09. Defuncts
10. Lantern

Tolling 13 Knell by the snazzy dressed Italian avant black death metallers Mortuary Drape is a bit of an oddity.

The album, recently reissued by Peaceville, was initially let loose upon the world (cue Conan O'Brien's old schtick) in the year two thousand. I'd never heard of them before (and judging by the fact none of their releases have double-digit votes on MS, not many of y'all have either) but the cover looks a bit silly, and it seems a good chunk of the bands Peaceville has been re-releasing have been also-rans that were ok, but pale compared to their corpse-paint paled Norse brethren.

Took about five minutes and I was completely on board with this release.

Sure, it was released in 2000, but these guys have been at it since the mid-80s, and it shows. T13K has a primitive vibe about it that had me doing 13 double takes on the release date. And back to the 5 = 3 bit, it does sound like a trio. When the guitarist starts flying all over the fretboard, which happens with great frequency and reckless abandon, it's not the standard "solo over e-string chugga-chugga riff" … instead the bassists (yes, you read that right) go full Geezer Butler mode and rumbling all over the place as well. It's like if Mercyful Fate and Black Sabbath had a bastard offspring.

The band also displays some of the avant garde as well, it's not particularly crazy, but it's certainly not formulaic.

Speaking of non-formulaic, another reason I found the album as engrossing is that it wasn't like 10 tracks of the same shit piled one after the other. Each was its own monstrosity. Primitive black metal to Mercyful Sabbath to creepy eerie bits… Listening to this was more like driving a windy road at night, which is far more interesting than just putting the family truckster on cruise control for a long straightaway where everything looks the same and the only thing that changes is the number on the mile marker.

(Special note - the reissue comes with special bonus tracks! More(tuary) fun!)

Rating breakdown
Performance: 8
Songwriting: 8
Originality: 8
Production: 8


Written on 20.06.2013 by BitterCOld has been officially reviewing albums for MetalStorm since 2009.

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