"Morning Star Rise" is the 3rd full-length studio album by New Zealand doom/goth metal act The House of Capricorn. The album was released through Svart Records in November 2014. It´s been some years since the release of "In the Devil's Days (2011)", but The House of Capricorn makes a welcome return with "Morning Star Rise".
The band have obviously developed their core musical direction on "Morning Star Rise" and also honed their skills in the process. The strong and quite dominant Type O Negative influence which graced "In the Devil's Days (2011)" has been toned down considerably. Actually to a point where it´s only the 9:32 minutes long closing track "Dragon of Revelations", which features that particular influence. The band´s doom metal leanings have also been toned down and while there are certainly heavy beats and riffing enough on the album so satisfy listener´s with a preference for that, it´s only "Ashlands" and the above mentioned "Dragon of Revelations" that can be labelled doom metal. The remaining part of the album is closer to the gothic/doom rock style of Babylon Whores, which means a hard edged "black leather jacket/shades" type of gothic metal style, and not the more soft eyeliner type goth metal. In other words this is pretty badass occult themed (check out song titles like "The Road to Hell is Marked" or "In the Light of Lucifer") gothic metal with an attitude. Sisters of Mercy is of course also a valid reference.
There´s a dark rock´n´roll atmosphere to the album, which is created by a generally energetic pace (except on the two doomy tracks on the album, which are both slow and epic in nature), hard rocking riffing, rock´n´roll style guitar solos, and an attitude filled vocal performance by Marko Pavlovic. It´s not that this style is completely new to The House of Capricorn, as they´ve explored it some on their first two releases, but they´ve really embraced it fully on "Morning Star Rise". The two doomy tracks, which in this respect, are the odd ones out, still fit with the overall musical concept though and they are great for the variation and flow of the album.
The band are well playing and the vocals are delivered with both passion and conviction, and they are relatively varied too, which often provides the music with an extra dimension. "Morning Star Rise" also features a strong, powerful, and organic sounding production, which suits the music well, so upon conclusion it´s quite an entertaining quality release by The House of Capricorn and definitely their most memorable album so far. A 3.5 - 4 star (75%) rating is deserved.