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Motus Tenebrae - Deathrising (2016) - Review

Band: Motus Tenebrae
Album title: Deathrising
Release date: 25 January 2016
Label: My Kingdom Music

01. Our Weakness
02. Black Sun
03. For A Change
04. Light That We Are
05. Faded
06. Deathrising
07. Haunt Me
08. Grace
09. Cold World
10. Cherish My Pain
11. Desolation

Italians Motus Tenebrae who celebrate this year their fifteenth anniversary, returns among the living four years after their by Revalve Records released album titled Double Black, with their fifth full-lenght album. Their new offering is stronger than anything they did before, more matured, even darker, with a real gothic metal pinch featuring eleven songs in the style reminiscent to the one of genre pioneers Paradise Lost. With Deathrising, the band which went through some line-up changes in the meantime, returns with their former singer Luis McFadden, who left the band soon after the album The Synthetic Bliss was finished. McFadden's return certainly brings new life into the music of Motus Tenebrae and adds that much needed energy which kind of lacked on the previous album.

Deathrising is an album for all those of you who hyped Paradise Lost's monumental album Draconian Times, but productional wise it's maybe closer to Paradise Lost or even more to In Requiem. While British masters of gothic doom metal are more than obviously the main influence, not only musical wise, but as well lyrical wise, beside that you'll hear also elements that are similar to Type O Negative' masterpieces Bloody Kisses and October Rust, to My Dying Bride mid period, then Katatonia's seminal album Last Fair Deal Gone Down and to their country mates The Foreshadowing in some segments, to name a few. I must admit that I'm a huge fan of the style if played well and Motus Tenebrae do it just good, not only the performance, also songwriting and production are top notch, but still the band lacks a bit too much in originality to reach higher grounds, actually there is almost none of it.

Some massive guitar riffs and occasional leads are played just like if Mr. Mackintosh would be behind them, just listen for example to the main guitar line in "Grace" or to magnificient riffs in "Black Sun". Not only guitars, as well vocalist is almost trying to copy Nick Holmes most of the time and surprisingly he does it with perfection, he sings maybe even better than Holmes himself, and songs like it's "Faded" or the album titled one are the main representatives. McFadden's vocals are dynamic, powerful, also versatile, here and there he shows that even harsher styles are nothing strange to him.

The pace of songs is typical for gothic doom, mostly semi paced strong rhythms that occasionally gain some speed, then again turn into monolithic slower ones. In "Deathrising" you'll hear a bit of similarity to the German horror metallers The Vision Bleak and those sludgy melancholic doomy riffs combined with sparkly guitar leads reminds a lot to Katatonia from before mentioned Last Fair Deal Gone Down. Every song is very dynamic, yet captivating, it has kind of a melancholy in it and the band knows how to make catchy melodic refrains that lift everything up. A nice dose of gloominess and radiant atmosphere is added by well inserted keys, some well thought electronic samples and piano touches, while the powerful and quite intriguing rhythmic line adds the necessary heaviness, best heard in the crushing "Cherish My Pain" or in the closing one, the doomy "Desolation".

Deathrising is all in all a great album and I believe that those of you who like before mentioned bands will for sure find in this album many great things and Motus Tenebrae might became one of your best discoveries in the last couple of years if you don't already know them. The band doesn't sound Italian at all and they have all the potential, now more than ever, to be recognized internationally as one of the leading acts inside the genre, but to reach that they must work on some unique ideas that will distinguish them from the rest, I know they can and I'll for sure keep an eye on this band in the future.

Review written by: T.V.
Rating: 7/10