Interview: Miłosz Gassan of Morne Talks ‘Engraved With Pain’

It’s not easy to effectively utilize the “less is more” mentality when it comes to writing metal, but Boston’s Morne continue to master this philosophy on their fifth album, Engraved With Pain, out now on Metal Blade Records. “We try to have the biggest impact through our use of stripped-down minimal riffs,” confesses lead vocalist and guitarist Miłosz Gassan.

In fact, Gassan, the band’s lone original member, won’t even buy into labeling Morne with a genre. Though billed as post-metal by the industry, the guitarist plainly describes their music as “a soundtrack to our views on situations in our lives. Nothing monumental or political. It’s always a release of emotions.” Be that as it may, the new full-length brandishes a complexity of atmospheric and moving elements.

Especially with three of the record’s four tracks coming in at over 10-minutes, a simple approach to writing sounds detrimental in theory. However, Gassan explains how the quartet makes it work, divulging, “the length of our songs are the consequences of our riffs and how they play into each other … No formula, no math. We let the instruments direct us.” Although he states there’s no formula being followed, he at least admits to a principle, citing, “Music has to tell a story and it has to flow to create a musical journey.”

Speaking of a journey, Gassan elaborates on the complicated lyrical theme of “Wretched Empire,” an ode to our development into a woeful species, declaring, “People don’t learn from the past. People get manipulated and misled. People get divided. Stupidity is everywhere and it’s getting amplified by the people ‘in charge.’ Clearly it’s nothing new. But one would think that people after so many mistakes and failures would finally figure out how to be good to one another. Common sense isn’t very common anymore,” continues Gassan, though he isn’t without hope or solutions. The frontman has some recommendations on how to better ourselves as individuals in order to improve the collective experience of humanity, suggesting, “Take time and read a book. Talk to people even if they don’t necessarily think the way you do. Learn from what they think. Question it.”

And he doesn’t stop there. Not only does he highlight the responsibilities we have for our fellow man, but he also adds, “Be good to animals!” Just as a reward comes from patiently listening to and digesting the epics written by his band, the potential payoffs for humans won’t come with haste, as Gassan summarizes his propositions, “It won’t change anything overnight, but it’s a start.”

Engraved With Pain is available now from Metal Blade Records. Follow Morne on Facebook and Instagram for future updates.

Photo courtesy of Hillarie Jason

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