Now here’s an interesting little something that’s perfect if feeling the cold breeze and watching the leaves die excites you. The Morningside is often referred to as “Moscow’s Agalloch” for obvious aesthetical reasons, but with the release of the new EP TreeLogia (The Album As It Is Not), one gets the sense that the band is ready to stake its own claim in the nature-affiliated corners of metal. TreeLogia, which notably has a longer playing time than a lot of full-length albums, offers three variations of a track off the band’s debut album entitled “The Trees.” (Hopefully this knowledge will lower thoughts that the band was pretentious in naming the album.) Although it’s right to assume an EP of this nature isn’t the most logical starting point, that’s not entirely true in this case. Yes, The Wind, The Trees And The Shadows Of The Past is still The Morningside‘s best work to date, but TreeLogia brings some new heartfelt elements to the table.
Although the aformentioned Agalloch and Katatonia are easy comparisons, TreeLogia really sounds more like a mixture of Burzum albums than anything else at first. Not to go overboard with referencing other bands, but it’s a bit difficult to think of anything else but “The Crying Orc” as the opening riff repeats constantly throught the album. The Morningside also seems to really love lengthy intros, outros and atmospheric, synth-ladened interludes. It may not be easy to apprecate at first, but it pays off for the listener to be in the proper setting when listening to this album. Guitarists Igor Nikitin and Sergey Chelyadinov are easily the band’s strongest asset, as their melodies do an even better job creating a meloncholic vibe than the keyboard itself. The basslines and tattering cymbals provide an additional moody backdrop that will gently yet constantly tug at the listener’s heartstrings.
The first two parts of TreeLogia are each around thirteen minutes in length and feel like brother and sister. Both showcase all of the band’s assets quite well, as the band’s obvious growth is a bit easier to mark given that the songs are variations of an older song. The third song, however, is over twenty minutes and has three parts of its own. If echoing guitar melodies and a lite drone finish don’t cry out “Bloodbirds!” then I don’t know what does, but somehow The Morningside manages to keep its originality flowing throughout the remainder of the record. TreeLogia (The Album As It Is Not) is far from essential, but it stands as a worthy effort in what remains an untainted discography thus far. If you love music that is best listened to in a dreary climate, you should definitely keep a sharp eye open for these guys.