San Diego, California’s Black Metal band Morphesia, started out in 2005, while their first live show was in 2013. In 2014 the band became a one man project both live and in the studio by fronted by Z. The album “Lucifer Rising”, inspired by Kenneth Anger’s film of the same title, plays testimony to the talents of Zombie (vocals, guitars, bass, drum programming, keyboards, lyrics) and Chris Bourne (additional vocals).

Musically, “Lucifer Rising” does not disappoint. Well, that depends upon what you expected to hear. Each track on the album immediately beats a full bore, jagged path into your consciousness, wasting little time with preludes or theatrics. Morphesia rarely give their listeners a chance to catch their breath on this album, and I’m sure most of their fans wouldn’t have it any other way.

The album cover

The album cover

As metal music gets more extreme, it seems that it is more difficult to find bands that are original and don’t blend in with the countless other bands in their respective genres. Morphesia offers the blast beats Black Metal all love but “Lucifer Rising” really impresses when there is more restraint displayed, especially in the opening of “The Rise of Satan” and cinematic intro to “Sons of Satan”.

It is here that Morphesia successfully show that they are the best at their ferocious game while allowing themselves to breathe a little, displaying more soul and mood, which by contrast makes the listener appreciate the faster moments (which is almost all of the album anyway) even more. The bass is also prominent and makes “Lucifer Rising”, dare I say, even more fun to listen to. Every instrument is right where it is supposed to be and Zombie’s vocals continue to delightfully punish your ears.

Zombie delivers his mind-blowing monster growls like a mega tornado tearing through everything in its path on this album, conveying a level of brutal, solid edge that sits neatly in the realms of extreme metal. The standout tracks for are me are, “Lucifer Rising”, “Of His Presence and Sight”, “Antichrist” and “The Rise of Satan”. Here you can appreciate the massive, roaring guitar sound which pulverizes the sonic barrier every inch of the way, demonstrating a level of technicality and complexity that keeps the listener moving. The bass guitar thickens the already massive edge delivered, making it flow like a raging waterfall during a rainstorm and the beating of the drums and double-kick, move to the point of creating artificial thunder and lightning.

All in all, Morphesia prove themselves to be the perfect storm of a Black Metal band. As I see it, this album marks the point of the utmost confidence in their ability to do what they do. So it’s weird to understand how and why they have never made another album after 2014. In the meantime this is Morphesia in its purest form: organic, uncompromising, insane, and intense.