If the initial reveal of Morbikon’s lineup provoked some understandable WTF reactions, their debut album, October’s Ov Mournful Twilight, quelled any doubts. Phil “Landphil” Hall and Dave Witte from Municipal Waste might not be the most obvious bedfellows for Finntroll fronttroll Mathias “Vreth” Lillmåns, but both of those bands share an instinct for crafting anthemic, economical, party-ready metal songs. That’s exactly what Hall, Witte, and Lillmåns make as Morbikon, but instead of crossover or folk metal, they’ve created a sound somewhere in the vicinity of black n’ roll-era Satyricon and I’s Between Two Worlds. It rips!
Hall is also building a Morbikon mythology with a series of animated music videos. He revealed the project last August with the “Universal Funeral” video, and now, Decibel is premiering its sequel: “Borne of Phantom Vessel.”
Aesthetically, Hall’s videos pay homage to ’80s sword-and-sorcery flicks like Deathstalker and The Beastmaster and the iconic animation of Heavy Metal. I’m also picking up on nods to The Spine of Night and Andrew MacLean’s comic series Head Lopper. My favorite touch is Hall’s black-and-white cinematography, which lends the videos an arcane, ancient atmosphere that stands in contrast to the obviously modern animation style. Both videos are great, but “Borne of Phantom Vessel” is a clear step up. Watch its barbarians, sorcerers, kings, alchemists, and amphibian sidekicks add to the Morbikon legendarium below, and read Hall’s statement on the video.
“This is the second animated video that I have created for MORBIKON. I truly feel that this video is a huge step forward from the first one. I have really put a lot of effort into making this as dynamic and entertaining as possible. The characters I have created in the world of these videos are starting to take shape and I am looking forward to taking this story even further.”
Ov Mournful Twilight is out now.