Peccatum - The Moribund People - The End Records 2005
Running Time: 15:09
Issued (I'm guessing) as a stopgap between albums for all the rabid Peccatum fans who feel that four albums in a five year period just isn't enough, Norway's blacktronica duo give us a short glimpse of winter in the heart of the summer. 'The Moribund People' hides its brutality in the lyrics, masking heresy with swelling keys and fluid guitarwork. After the more straightforward delivery of the title track, 'A Penny's Worth Of Heart' sheds a little more light on what separates Peccatum from the infestation of subpar female-fronted melodic metal currently plaguing the genre. Atop a bed of Tricky-styled bass throb, Ihriel's voice gives way to Ihsan's unmistakeable half-snarl and mid-paced melancholy, only to delve back into pulsing electronica. And now to the cover, which will excite as many as it infuriates. The legendary Bathory's 'For All Those Who Died' is given the Dead Can Dance treatment in the beginning, one of Quorthon's catchiest songs stripped, twisted, and reworked using a piano/vocal duet for the first two verses. Soon enough - and at this point unexpectedly - Peccatum complete a seconds-long transformation into raw and bestial black 'n' roll, finishing the song in a manner far closer to the original. Opinions will differ widely on this version, but after the calm sacrilege of the first half of 'For All Those...', the first few seconds of sabre-sharp riffing are damn near orgasmic. Peccatum is bound to take some flack for fucking around with a Bathory song in any way, shape, or form. Sure, the debt owed to Bathory in the world of extreme metal is sizeable, but wasn't Quorthon all about challenging perceptions and breaking new ground? As faithful a deconstruction as you'll ever hear.
If you're already a fan, you have this. If you've never heard Peccatum before, I could easily recommend The Moribund People as a good starting point.