Morality Crisis: North

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Morality Crisis: North
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Morality Crisis: North
Post-Hardcore, Sludge Metal
Minnesconsin Records
February 28th, 2012
Release length: 14:37
Bandcamp
Minneapolis/St. Paul’s Morality Crisis started back in 2003, broke up in 2006, and reformed in 2011. Since then, they released the Love and Passion EP, and for 2012 present a four song recording titled North. This effort clocks in at just over twelve minutes, and presents gritty music against a crisp audio production thanks to Adam Tucker and time in Signaturetone Recording. But, does this release end up being something worth paying attention to, or is it just another introduction into Sludge and Post-Hardcore mediocrity?

This is showcased with “North,” the longest track here, thanks largely due to the atmospheric introduction that is cold and rough. Shortly after, you’re met with various speed and attitudes, often highly melodic with a moving Post-Hardcore atmosphere, though later tuned down and bass-heavy for a chugging breakdown that show off an uncompromising Sludge Metal hostility. “Log” doesn’t end up too aggressive, though finds plenty of deeper, bass-heavy passages that feel like a musical blunt instrument pounding at your ear drums. This makes up most of the track, but later on there is an atmospheric Post-Hardcore passage met with higher shouting vocals that is as catchy as the heaviest of elements the track has to offer.

The slow, Doom Metal start of “Take Her to the Trand Bar” acts like a drunken introduction, paving the way to sobering madness and euphoric bits of melody. Throughout the song, you’re greeted with a great vocal range, though there are some brief nasal modern Punk or Punk Rock harmonizations that don’t quite work out too well, but aren’t that obnoxious. This shifts into “Take Her to the Bad Room,” moving from a dream to an absolute nightmare. The music becomes abrasive, met with gutturals and harsher nasal screams common more to Grindcore and Death Metal. It’s a short bit of closure, leaving you to feel like there’s more to it than just these two songs, but overall a solid performance that leaves you wanting more.

While there’s a great deal of variety on display within North, Morality Cause manages to keep it all structured enough that it remains fluid and makes sense to each track’s progression. “North” stands out the most of all the songs, showing that extended track length is a factor that the band works well with, while the two shorter tracks are mostly impressive in a conceptual point, and would not hit the same way if they were two unconnected tracks. Hopefully their next effort won’t go in this direction. But, as far as North goes, it ends up fourteen and a half minutes of solid, crusty Post-Hardcore and Sludge that any fan will enjoy.

01. North – 5:50
02. Log – 3:59
03. Take Her to the Trend Bar – 2:43
04. Take Her to the Bad Room – 2:05
Initial Pressing Score: 8.5/10
Digital review copy of this release provided by Minnesconsin Records.