|Classic Review: Morgana Lefay - Sanctified|
Label: Black Mark Productions
Year released: 1994
Genre: Heavy/Power Metal
Review online: May 13, 2005
Reviewed by: 4th Horseman
Rated 4.69/5 (93.75%) (16 Votes)
The quintet from Sweden had brought us "Sanctified" back in 1994 which is widely considered Morgana Lefay's strongest album to date. It is extremely difficult to categorize this band under a genre as there really is no band on the face of the Earth that plays metal this way. If I were to invent a new style just for this band, I'd call it "Groove Metal" because that appears to be the single most important factor about this band and its music (the emphasis on grooves). The music here is basically heavy metal – and I mean HEAVY, HEAVY metal – with thrash and power influences all over the place. But many tracks also have an overall dark and doomy atmosphere to them. So the crossover with other sub-genres is pretty big, but it is still mainly about traditional and power metal at its core.
"Sanctified" is an album that requires some time to get used to, because vocalist Charles Rytkonen has a voice that may not sit too easily with everyone. If you think you can imagine the voice of a complete madman, then think again until you hear his screams – yeah, they'll echo very nicely in your mind afterwards almost haunting you. Furthermore, the riffing on most of the tracks here is pretty unusual. For those that have heard Tad Morose's "Modus Vivendi", think the main riff off of the track "Anubis" and that will give you an idea of what Morgana Lefay riffs sound like. Newer era Tad Morose would perhaps be the closest comparison to this band.
Whether it is the madness of "Out In Silence" or the thunderous Tolkien worship of "To Isengard", or the mammoth ballad "Sorrow Calls", this album should be on every heavy/power metallers list to check out, just to get an idea of what power metal that will rip your balls out really means.
A final word about the booklet – just like all Morgana Lefay booklets, it sucks. With some weird abstract art all over the place which I have no clue what it means, and the fonts in the lyrics sheet are really, really annoying. But it is the music that counts I guess. So in conclusion…. take a knee boys, for this is the sacred art of monstrous power metal at its finest. This band is scheduled for a new release in 2005 and I wait eagerly to see if it can top "Sanctified".
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