Saturday, January 24, 2015

The Pete Flesh Deathtrip-Mortui Vivos Docent (2013)

There is always a level of strangeness and eccentricity to any innovative band, project or album, but of all the releases i have for reviews, this is by far the strangest. What is heard on here could be summed up as a sort of warped celebration of the occult through the medium of a hybrid of death/doom and black metal with some heavy ambient overtones. There could be a level comparison to the later pre-ambient works of Burzum, Darthrone but the drastic contrast in vocal expression and melodic tendencies make that connection distant at best. One could see this as a transition work between the purer, death influenced black metal. It’s one of those albums that are often misunderstood simply because there is no real precedent to measure it against. The greatest charm of this creepy opus is its utter simplicity. Any concept of flash, flair, or technical showmanship is absent, making way for an entirely riff based formula that emphasizes a dark atmosphere and a vocally distorted series of free verse narrations, dense as hell vocal tracking.While not exactly the most accessible combination of elements, there is definitely a catchiness element to many of these songs, goes through several passages of blasting, muddy chaos, but the riffs that comes out when things calm down a little is heavily distinctive, containing a definite proto-Thrash vibe to it. Doom driven slower chapters as well. The album consistently maintains this death/black/doom dichotomy of chaotic, muddy passages switching up varying amounts of vocal oddities and production quirks with masterful precision. If you like to experience the rare sensation of getting high on an album, without the need of any chemical additives, “Mortui Vivos Docent” is about as close as you can get to the real thing. If you really want to creep yourself out, listen to it for the first time through a high end car stereo system while driving home at 3am the way I did. But in all seriousness, this is something that is utterly essential once you understand where it’s coming from. An acquired taste some may say, but those tastes tend to be the most treasured because they are shared with few people and earned through genuine effort. For followers of Bathory, Hellhammer and early Mayhem. I am not a die-hard fan of Black metal but definitely this is a cool album and it's worth every minute of it. Good job on this one Pete !!
Review by Paul Caravasi

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