Title:Come Read The Words Forbidden
Genre:Melodic Power Metal
MORTON is a Ukrainian Power Metal band, founded in 2009. One year after that, they released the “Grimoire” EP, consisting of 5 tracks, of which most made it onto the band’s debut full-length, “Come Read The Words Forbidden”. This release came out via AFM Records in October 2011. So yes, this review is a bit overdue. The tracks off the EP – see the * in the tracklist below – were of course re-recorded to go well with the other, new tracks and thus offer a full(er) view on MORTON’s music. However, the “Grimoire” EP can be downloaded from the band’s website at this location.
The album begins with the thundering, bombastic Power Metal of “Calling For The Storm”. Symphonics lead the way, while guitars and drums deliver power and rhythm and the occasional melodic shredding. The vocals are of the clean kind. Speed can be found in the chorus, which is also, simply put, catchy, effective and classic. “Eaglemark” is next with heavy riffing ad twinkling keyboard sounds. The Metal dominates, as the verses confirm. However, the keyboards still deliver melody and atmosphere. The music flows more fully in the chorus, which sounds rather hymnic. The singing then also rises, going for the high notes, similar to the French band HEAVENLY. The guitar solo is set over halfway. Two songs as highlights so far.
But not all is well, or as attractive. “Brotherhood Of Light” starts with melodic shredding, building the tension, followed by enjoyable Power Metal. And it does rock. Full volume and options are activated in the chorus. One of the classic examples of Epic Metal, you could say. Again the Metal prevails, but the keyboards have a secondary role, mainly for atmosphere and backing. “Sleeping King” is also one of the less attractive or strong songs. This could be a more personal impression. The music is more simple and perfect for a single. The melodic aspect is very strong in the chorus, not in the least by the vocals. It sounds a bit like SONATA ARCTICA, despite its radio-friendliness. Right when you think it’s getting a bit monotonous, the band shifts into a more rocking direction over halfway. That’s when the solo kicks in. The chorus is good, but the melody isn’t strong enough to withstand several listens.
But then there’s “Losing Faith”, which means one shouldn’t lose it in this case, as this is another worthy song. It’s got power, shredding and pounding drums. But at the same time it’s a dark, melodic song with the chorus again the spot where all options are active. The tempo remains quite constant (high-paced) throughout the entire song. “We Are The Shades” is an acoustic song, featuring a cello. It’s good. Nothing extraordinary, though. Another highlight is “Oblivion”, offering firm melodic Power Metal similar to PRIMAL FEAR. The metallic verses contrast with the melodic chorus. The whole is simple, but quite effective.
“Grimoire” begins with gradual building. The vocals come in at that time, while the powerburst is saved for later. It’s a power ballad, slow, melodic and emotional, particularly in the chorus. All in all, an ok song. This flow of highlights and less strong songs reaches another height with “Burning Prisoner”. Suspense at first, then the power grows and bursts out into fast melodic Power Metal. Despite similarities with HEAVENLY, the music is at times dark and vicious. All in all, quite an entertaining track with a special role for the drums (mainly before the solo).
Two more highlights then: “Werewolf Hunt” to begin with. This is another powerful track where guitars and drums contrast (or collaborate) with the keyboards. The result: thundering, raging Power Metal. A very fine piece of work! “Black With” is a straight-forward Heavy Metal track, similar to PRIMAL FEAR, SAXON and so on. In “Azrael” the focus lies on the music, despite it being a short, dark track. All ends with “Weeping Bell”‘s organ intro, followed by full-on Metal. Slowly, though. And the keyboards are present for the melodic aspect. Clean verses contain the vocals, the organ and drum samples, which sound muffled, if you ask me. The chorus is hymnic, so to speak, and the whole song does become firmer, at the same time of the solo. But this piece doesn’t last long as the power ballad continues its flow afterwards.
“Come Read The Words Forbidden” is, all things considered, a reasonable solid debut album by these Urkainian Power Metallers. If you’re into HELLOWEEN, GAMMA RAY, HEAVENLY, PRIMAL FEAR and similar, and you’re looking for new material – albeit not exactly super or groundbreaking – then MORTON is a pretty safe bet.
- Calling For The Storm
- Brotherhood Of Light
- Sleeping King
- Losing Faith
- We Are The Shades
- Oblivion *
- Grimoire *
- Burning Prisoner
- Werewolf Hunt *
- Black Witch *
- Weeping Bell
Max Morton – vocals
Roman Skorobagatko – guitars
Alexander Rudnev – guitars
Andrey Karpov – bass
Dmitry Smotrov – drums
More info at http://www.maxmorton.com/