Known for its cheese, beer, and baseball team the Brewers, Milwaukee is also home (rather was home) to some of America’s finest death metal. Yeah, Tampa had its rightful place on the throne in the late ’80s/early ’90s, but the former French Canadian trading post had Dr. Shrinker, Phantasm, Accidental Suicide, and the mighty Morta Skuld. Perhaps the most visible of all Wisconsin death metal acts was Morta Skuld. With their down-tuned, catchy Midwestern death, the group caught the ears of UK cult indie Deaf/Peaceville Records, under which three full-lengths were released to moderate success.
Twenty-one years later, Relapse Records has compiled Morta Skuld’s two 1990 demos — Prolong the Agony and Gory Departure — in the form of Through The Eyes Of Death. Produced by Death manager Eric Greif and with artwork by Travis Smith, Through The Eyes Of Death is a fitting deathsong to Morta Skuld’s career. To celebrate Morta Skuld in the age of YouTube and viral videos, Relapse Records and director David Cook lensed a music video for “Prolong the Agony (Crucifix)”.
“‘Prolong the Agony’ was written 21 years ago,” explains Morta Skuld guitarist Dave Gregor. “When we started shooting the video, I felt a bit lost and as we went take after take the vibe started to come back to me, kinda like that adage about riding a bike. When we were writing this song I was really into everything must be evil stage. My drummer Jef Jaeger and I wrote the lyrics not to glorify crucifixion but to describe the act of what one would feel and what one would go through being subjected to that act. The entire second Morta Skuld demo Prolong the Agony was about what one would feel or experience going through these horrid things. Doug Cook had a great vision for the vid that was a realization of the lyrics.”
** Morta Skuld demo collection, Through The Eyes Of Death, is out now on Relapse Records. For a fine slab of Midwestern death, order it here.
** For more info on “Prolong the Agony” director Doug Cook, please visit his website here.