A band out of place, if not entirely out of time, Orange County, CA's Morgion trod a relatively lonely funeral march into the cobwebbed mausoleums of death/doom metal during their protracted yet oft-interrupted career. Over the course of 15-odd years beginning in 1990, the group toured sporadically at best and managed a measly two-and-a-half albums' worth of material before going their separate ways; ultimately bequeathing only shadowy, scattered remnants of their frequently inspired musical legacy to a small group of enlightened metal fans. But Relapse Records' 2008 anthology, The Morgion Collection, will hopefully remedy this somewhat with its timely remastering and re-introduction of the band's 1997 mini-album, Among Majestic Ruin, its full-length successor, 1999's Solinari, and a handful of previously unreleased tracks, demos, and outtakes. Disc one of this double set opens, wisely enough, with Morgion's practically inarguable creative peak via the Solinari album, whereupon their tectonic mega-riffs were deliberately thrust like broken hilltops over a glacial, barren landscape of Lovecraft-ian atmospheric synthesizers, and topped with the roiling thunderclouds of Jeremy Peto's growling vocals and ghostly baritones. The very definition of majesty in decay, awesome creations like "The Serpentine Scrolls," "Nightfall Infernal," and "All the Loss" still compare with the best funeral death/doom ever conjured, and the similarly impressive songwriting revealed by the previously unheard tracks, "Mundane" and "Symphonie der Gravens" (recorded around the same time for the never released Oceans Without Shores EP — along with an extended version of "Canticle") are bound to ensure the satisfaction of old fans who already owned the original albums. By comparison, the band's aforementioned first record, Among Majestic Ruin, which kicks off disc two, sounds surprisingly lush — although the incremental keyboard backdrops framing colossally dismal excursions like of (get a load of these titles!) "Relic of a Darkened Past," "In Ashen Tears (Thus I Cry)," and "Basking Under a Blacksun Dawning," hardly sound any more uplifting. Maybe in another, far darker and more sinister dimension of existence. On this disc, the coveted extras comprise three demos and one rehearsal recording, of which the abandoned instrumental, "Phoenix Moons," will surely take precedence in the eyes of the faithful. And so, the only thing keeping The Morgion Collection from fulfilling its retrospective mission to absolute perfection is the absence of any material from the band's final, 2004 album, Cloaked by Ages, Crowned in Earth. But since said album was recorded after the exit of main man, Jeremy Peto, and frankly failed to replicate the lofty standards of yore, this is a debatable point, and certainly shouldn't dissuade devoted doom enthusiasts from taking a chance on this worthy two-disc compendium.
Years Active: '90s, '00s
One of America's most underrated entries into the doom/death metal arena, Orange County, CA's Morgion were formed in 1990 by Jeremy Peto (vocals/bass), Dwayne Boardman (guitars/vocals), and Rhett Davis (drums). The Rabid Decay demo and a 7" single called "Travesty" appeared in 1992 and 1993, respectively, but it wasn't until four years later that the band -- by then rounded out by guitarist Bobby Thomas and Ed Parker on keyboards -- managed to score a record deal with Relapse Records, and released... Full bio