Allegro Morbid Sin - Sins of the Flesh (Stormspell) 1998/2010

1. New Revolution (4:03)
2. Crazy Alan (5:56)
3. The Outcast And The Savior (6:57)
4. Heaven Help Us (3:51)
5. Witch Window (Return To Salem) (6:56)
6. Child Of Darkness (Child Of Light) (5:53)
7. Jesus Wept (3:46)
8. Beyond Wickedness (6:58)
9. Torn Apart (3:47)

Morbid Sin are a band that studied at the Iommi/Butler school of heavy metal with a singer that would rival James Rivera, John Cyriis and the mighty Ronnie James Dio. This is some serious heavy metal! My first spin of this CD left me wondering how a band this good could be so utterly obscure that their one and only album was never even released until twelve years later. The band was originally formed in 1985 and featured "Leatherlungs" Bobby Lucas who later went on to sing for Jack Frost's Seven Witches and Overlorde. "Sins of the Flesh" was recorded in 1989 but not released until 2010. The music is 100%, balls-to-the-wall, guitar driven, heavy metal. There is nothing pop about this album whatsoever. Even the lonely ballad "Child of Darkness (Child of Light)" is dark and foreboding, something you might have expected to hear on Sabbath's "Heaven & Hell", not some radio-ready drivel. Of course what would a good heavy metal band be without a shredding lead guitarist? Morbid Sin aren't lacking in that department either. Each and every song is packed full of vicious guitar work. The album ends with a vicious double bass assault that reminded me of  bands like Agent Steel and Helstar.

Unfortunately, despite my overwhelming praise of the music and vocals on "Sins of the Flesh", the whole thing is brought down several notches due to the recording quality. The songs actually sound like they were mixed well, with the guitars, bass, drums and vocals all clearly heard and in their place. The problem is that the whole thing sounds warped as wavy, especially the harsh cymbals. I wonder if this is more a problem of the source material than the original mix, as it sounds like I am listening to an old 1980's cassette tape that has gone bad and has that high end metallic ring. It's unfortunate because the music is just so darned good! Fortunately it is THAT good that I can overlook the production and still enjoy the music.

As usual with any Stormspell Records release, the packaging is outstanding. The 12-page booklet includes a biography, lyrics and extensive thank you list. Oddly enough, there are no photos of the band, which is unusual for a Stormspell release, thus I assume there weren't any available.

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