Murder in Rue Morgue
Death's Divide EP
Auburn, NY-based Murder in Rue Morgue celebrates the release of their new EP Death's Divide. With name and EP titles like that, is there any question that this will be anything but a monster metal mix? From the opening notes of "Atom Smasher," the foursome establishes the sound and fury that mark the tone of the EP; sounding as if a NWOBHM band fell into bed with a mid-90s thrash band.
Danile Ouimette and CJ Carr's guitars in "Atom Smasher" cleanly and forcefully chew into the tune, while at least two different vocalists contribute. One, the screamer, lashes out the verses, while a shout/singer belts out the chorus. All four of the guys in MRM work the vocals at different times in this collection, something I've only seen with one other band: the speed-death metal act Mutilation Rites. For that band, distinguishing between the vocalists was tough due to the thorough growling all of them exhibited (I still say their warm-up sounded like cats working out hairballs more than singers flexing their vocal chords). MRM exhibit an altogether more creative use of their vocal talents, allowing each vocalist to sing, shout, scream or growl as their skills and the songs' needs present themselves.
The disc's title track comes second and carries a very (surprisingly) catchy chorus amid all the guitars. This track also moves the guitars away from the NWOBHM sound on "Atom Smasher" by drizzling distortion all over the lead and rhythm. The performance style remains relatively NWOBHM-ish, but the distortion allows MRM to claim their own corner of the metal uiniverse and stand apart from cover acts and style artists.
"Comatose," following "Death's Divide," eases back on the distortion and jams out a killer thrash tune, easy enough to bang one's head to; guitars and Josh Haines' drums and screaming and shouting making this track some fun noise. "Amongst the Lies" opens the second half as nearly straight-up thrash, featuring lots of rhythm guitar and the quartet's signature growly verses and sung chorus. The solos on this track carry the tune into a second tier of excellence. They've been really good up to this point, but for this track, they really act almost as a third vocal track.
John Wolff's bass opening to "Burn Me Up" sets a terrific tone introduces yet another mosh-fest of crunchy guitars, pounding rhythm and vocals that will fuel the pit better than any other tune on this EP. "Empire" closes out the sextet of tracks, keeping the energy high, not backing down on the sonic assault that makes this EP almost a half-hour of heavy metal heaven.