Earlier this summer Relapse Records released Morta Skuld recordings from back in the band’s humble beginnings in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The album, entitled Through The Eyes Of Death: The Early Demos, combines the band’s two 1990 demos, Gory Departure and Prolong The Agony, on one disc. Both demos were remastered for the collection by Chris Wisco at Belle City Sound. Both original demos were produced by then Death manager Eric Grief.
Founder, guitarist, and vocalist David Gregor sat down this week to take us back to those early days for a track by track breakdown:
Intro – First off the intros were Eric’s signature, even on the Viogression he did lots of voices and sound effects, I lent my voice to some stuff but he was the man.
Sacrificial Rite – We were in the phase of death metal before it hit and was at the point of breaking, Bands like Death were releasing their first album. We just wanted to write a riff that kids would mosh to right out the gate. My out of key solo’s were another trademark type sound.
Gory Departure – Heavy Death influenced song, I almost feel I took Chuck [Schuldiner]’s riff and when I look back I’m like “I stole a riff,” but the rest of the song was in same vein as the rest of demo.
Preacher of Lies – Heavy, though into Testament Practice What You Preach mentality. But Eric again lent some cool ideas on the vocal parts and not to mention he helped on a lot of lead arrangements too.
Senseless Killings – That song goes back to the punk/crossover band me and Jason Hellman had before, we made it heavier and was one of the first songs written.
Intro – This one was kinda crazy, but me and a couple band members were hangin’ out back of someone’s house and this Vet comes up and starts talking about the valley of death and shit that was unreal, so I took some of what was said and Eric narrated the whole thing.
Feast From Within – This song I had not much to do with. Jef [Jaeger] and his brother Brian had written it and wrote vocals for it and I learned it and it became a Morta Skuld song.
Prolong the Agony – This song was written about if you were up on a cross, how and what would your body go through and what would take place, also check the video I did for it too, the video was done last year, was a bit weird to sing to something I didn’t even remember how to play. But turned out awesome. Doug Cook is great.
Of Evil – Not much to say. Was about Satan the being, and what he stands for and how he is as an entity. Jef also had a lot to do with the lyrics of this demo. We worked close on all three of them.
Eternal Suffering – We had written this with Jef and then re-wrote it with Kent [Truckenbrod]. It changed so much it wasn’t same song. This was for an Earache deal with some of Milwaukee’s finest bands. Heavily influenced by Obituary.
Metal Church – We were in middle of guitars players and Takis [Kinis] from a Wisconsin band named Realm was playing with us and we were doing an Ozzy comp and we also got offered a Mercyful Fate comp. I said how cool would it be to throw in a tune that we want to do for us. That song is my top 3 all time songs and to have Takis on it really smoked.
The demo’s were done in 1990 and the ‘Eternal Suffering” in 1991, and “Metal Church” in 1998.