Wednesday, October 7, 2009


“The Evil Addiction Destroying Machine" is the title of Mortifications latest release. This disc was released in June of this year. While summer is usually a great time to acquire some great metal I must admit I didn’t get this particular disc until just a few weeks ago. When I received this disc I realized that how sketchy I am on Mort’s catalog.

I mean I’ve heard a few of their tunes i.e. ‘Scrolls’ and ‘Noah was a Knower’ really just stuff from YouTube. I do own one disc and that is ‘Triumph of Mercy’ and I have to admit I thought the production was a bit thin on that disc. After reading many comments apparently I wasn’t the only one. (I did just find a copy of ‘The Silver Chord is Severed’ some cool sounding stuff there) So before reviewing this disc I spent some extra ‘research’ on the bands Myspace and listened to several different albums from different eras.

Having said all that on Mortification’s 14th release there are several components at work here. Back in the early 80’s I remember picking up a copy of Metal Rendezvous. As I read the reviews one person was praising some disc by saying ‘The Return of the Riff!!!” Well one of most obvious things here is THE RETURN OF THE RIFF!!! All over this album there are riffs galore. And the intriguing thing is that many of these tunes have 2 or 3 (or 5!) riffs with the songs. I’m not just talking about time changes or verse to chorus stuff, differing riffs within a song. I just don’t hear a lot of this stuff these days. Listen to ‘A Sense of Eternity’ this song must have 5 different riff components.

I realize it seems that many Mortification fans want a ‘Scrolls Part Deux’, sorta like Rush fans want another ‘2112’ or Deliverance fans want another ‘Weapons of Our Warfare.’ That’s not the case here but there is a lot of pounding metal to drive the point home. Favorites for me include ‘One Man With Courage Makes a Majority’, ‘The Master of Reinvention’, ‘Pilots Hanging From Shoulder Dust’, and “Pushing The Envelope Of The Red Sonrise.’

On this release I also hear a lot Iron Maiden influence in the guitar parts, particularly in the solos. I mean did Davey or Adrian stuff by the studio???? Mick Jelinic is simply superb. So many times we get to the solo and it just changes the song taking heaviness and making it more melodic, yet off the cuff. Go Mick Go….! Returning drummer Adam Zaffarese shows why he’s back in Mortification. His technique and timing are a great addition back in behind his kit.

The production is full and fits the songs like a glove. Frankly the vibe and feel I get here is Motorhead. Mortification isn’t trying to sound like Motorhead, but perhaps Steve’s growl and being a three piece there is something that just strikes me that way. Speaking of Steve his bass playing shines and is very prominent in the mix. His bass playing and vocalizations are intense. When the band kicks in “I’m Not Confused” they hit on all cylinders moving onto full speed ahead. Steve vocalizes with real snarl here.

The tribute song to Resurrection Band entitled ‘Resurrection Band a tribute’ sounds very Megadeth inspired musically. The melody and riffs really hit me that way.

The album lyrically is very straight ahead Jesus, but there are also some social ills covered. If you have enjoyed previous Mortification albums from 1996 on you’ll dig this one.

Mortification, great job mates!
I’m not confused, I know where I’m going!

8 AXES PhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucket


Mortfan said...

This is a very good CD that creates a direction for Mortification that Steve Rowe had yet to cover. I enjoy it more each time I hear it.

Joe said...

I have adored Mortification since the days of the their self-titled debut. They are one of the four bands whose anthology I own and continue to purchase. In my opinion, from Braincleaner on the music as it's written leaves much more than a bit to be desired. This album follows suit. Mick is a top-notch addition, and I find myself gravitating towards the material he gets credits on. But all in all, it seems Steve's running out of ideas. There's no doubt that the band has great musicianship. It just seems to be dumbed-down by Steve's composition. I am a Christian who appreciates extreme evangelism, but when the Gospel is couched in sub-par music, it isn't a wonder why only devout believers keep buying. I know Steve may be done with Mort. I also know he's been through trials many have never seen, and God strengthen him for it. But if the Lord moves him to write another album, I hope he finds some great musical minds to collaborate with and allows as much good writing input as possible. I always want to hear good metal. I believe Christian metal should (and sadly isn't) be the best. Make me proud, Mort!

Mr.Electric40 said...

I'm always amazed when someone complains about the 'quality' of something they forget that perhaps it's not the product that has changed but our perception of it...

Joe said...

To be completely honest, Mr. E, the quality has changed. Writing music, including metal, is a tough go. Were one to exclude the lyrical content of this album, they'd hard-pressed to put this effort anywhere near the top of metal endeavors. I have non-Christian friends aplenty who see the s/t, Scrolls, and Post Momentary albums as great and then drop off dramatically as the catalog continues. They care nothing for the lyrics, just the musical effort. Oh and by the way, I was turned on to Mort by their music...not their message. I've been a believer since little on. I have also been there when a group tries to lead a so-called "contemporary" worship service and it fails because they weren't talented. Please don't question my perception. I still have my God-given ears. I have also been a proponent of believers using their God-given talents to create noble music to honor the risen King. I appreciate Steve's efforts and love his Christian resolve. I just think the music has been weak as of late. Secular metalheads may be whatever you fathom...but they have an ear for good metal. If they aren't impressed with the music, they will dismiss the lyrical content out of hand. I know the Word doesn't return to God empty, but come on...if it's packaged in metal most unbelieving metal heads turn from, who's gonna listen?