'Signs of Life'


MARK: 94/100

Not many people besides the insiders are aware that Colorado is the stronghold of US Dark metal, yet, even tho Mourned by Flies have opened for acts such as 69 Eyes, and national ones (Another Black Day and the likes), they sound far more aggressive and rawer than their colleagues.
The band's members gained lots of experience in eROTic, Skarmine, the Dacron Jesus Kult, Dismal, Famous Bacon, Dead High, Deadless, Wretched Decrepancy, Acid Reign (not the British thrashers!), Dysorder, the Mandrake and Pseudogod, and this has allowed them to concoct a unique and alluring sound through a songwriting wisely elaborated with no hurry.

The opener "The Invocation of Gaahl" is a good example of straight and decidedly dirty sound, embracing Prog Thrash and a few Death metal backing vocals, but there's also a large dose of Classic Heavy metal rifferama in the following song, the title-track, just as to prove more steadily their sonic mix goes beyond every simple definition.
The drumming is usually tight and the kick drum sounds awesome, but the twisted guitar solos add a touch that makes the listener descend to the depths of the underworld; great are the blast beats in "Eviscerate" that are stressed out by real hellish layers of synth.
The highlights of the record, "Erased" and "Into the Wake of the Void", see the comeback of the haunting keys, genial vocal insertions and sublime refrains.
Enlacing influences ranging from the early Nuclear Death, to Amorphis, Strapping Young Lad, Hypocrisy, Anacrusis and Apophis, the Colorado quintet achieves the peak of madness in "Dying Circuit", a pretty experimental composition destined to divide the audience rich with synths and beats in its middle, whereas "Simple Fix" is mere threatening Dark metal, too fast to be categorized under Doom metal and too heavy to be defined Gothic. MBF avoid any label and they do it damn well.
All lyrics were paid particula care to while composing, but as to the closure, entrusted to "Nasci a Morte", which is based upon lyrics concerning the reason why we are here without being asked or told anything, I admit I was touched deeply; I still haven't been capable to find an ultimate and convincing explanation to the issue about our goal on Earth, and I always end by thinking we'll just be food for worms after our decease and nothing else will happen. If we wanna survive, we need to count on ourselves, not on our prayers, and the first plainest evidence springing from my mind comes from the sixteen 1972 Andes' survivors.

Like I said before, the 5-piece have made things on a big scale, requiring Chad Quam's opera for the whole booklet and artwork, which is added to their kick-ass look. I'm sure that if Edgar Allan Poe were alive, he would be a fan of theirs for sure.
If they crush live as they do in the studio, then I don't know what else labels are waiting for to offer them a decent deal at the soonest!

MARKUS GANZHERRLICH - 2nd November 2008

Line-up on this record:
Erik Griste, v., g.
Greg Keenan, g., back-up v.
Amiee Rodriguez, b.
Skar Huwig, d.
Jesse James Mcgarvey, g.

Official sites:

Signs of Life (CD - 2008)