MORGUL BLADE - Sharply Honed
March 17, 2023, 2 weeks ago
Despite no cohesive scene and without a dedicated room catering to rock/metal, Philadelphia has quietly (well, not so "silently," in terms of volume) amassed a cadre of DIY acts that walk the fine line between sub-genres, without much fanfare (apart from outside the Tristate area): Crypt Sermon, Traitor, Blazon Rite and Morgul Blade. Prepping for their sophomore full-length, the last two years has seen the Morguls secure national recognition/festival slots at both Legions Of Metal and Hell's Heroes (as well as undertaking their maiden US club trek, alongside Philly cohorts Sonja).
Prior to that cross-country sojourn, they convened in the cozy confines of Kung Fu Necktie, to air a handful of classics, as well as tease a couple of newbies ("Spider Gods" and "Beneath The Black Sails", the latter regarding the corsair pirates) from the forthcoming album, which is 90% written, but yet to be recorded. It will appear, courtesy of No Remorse Records, but probably not until 2024, according to guitarist/vocalist/mastermind Klauf. He claims the new material contains more death metal vocals. The days of "A Last Waltz Of Gevaudan", with its clean voice throughout, are no more.
The club was packed, especially for a Thursday night, to see both bands off. With fans pressed against the newly refurbished stage, under sparse, purple lighting, the band ran through a brief set that's destined to win them fans at each stop along the concert trail. Galloping "The Five Will Ride At Dawn" is infectious. In Morgul Blade, well-traveled female guitarist Elyse Nightwhawk has dropped the High Priestess from her moniker, but she's no slouch in the six-string department. The new material easily slots into the set, alongside the likes of their signature tune and "In The Grip Of The Dark Lord", especially the heavier buccaneer tune. They end with the most energetic offering, "Sons Of The Night" guitars going into overdrive. Remember the name, Morgul Blade, and if they come to your town, check 'em out!