Moral Order – The Empty Cross LP Tesco Organisation 2021
The Empty Cross is the fourth album since 2018 from Fernando O. Paino’s industrial blended heavy / power electronics project Moral Order. Thematically, this new album concerns itself with various philosophical works of Friedrich W. Nietzsche; as stated in the promo text: ‘God has died, and Western values must be reformed in a world dominated by chaos and crisis of principles. The cross is empty. The farce is over’.
For the nine tracks which make up The Empty Cross, the cold and grey-hued analogue electronics are framed as relatively straightforward, predominantly mid-paced, rhythmic song-focused compositions. Yet, there are some tracks such as Amnesia and OC that are brooding and soundscape-styled, thus reorienting their tone more towards that of dark ambient spheres. As noted in my reviews of other Moral Order releases, there is a particular strain in their sound that would sit quite comfortably on the Galakthorrö label. That impression equally applies here; the moody rhythm and beat of Tree of Words is one such perfect example. Opening track Demise stands out as a differing statement of intent based on a mid-paced driving tribal-esque beat, throbbing synths, and soot-smeared vocals. Blood Stains is another early highlight, involving a mid-paced rhythmic march and underpinning and pounding bass. Onslaught also stands apart with its clean beat and minimalist synth melody, yet the sonic-smeared vocals place the atmosphere clearly within underground spheres.
The Empty Cross could be said to be a continuation, but slight refinement and expansion of, the established sound of Moral Order. This means there is a lot to like here for established fans. The large cross die-cut in the main cover and separate insert visible below rounds out a very classy presentation, in a limited pressing of 300 copies.