Tuesday, April 6, 2010


Mortification is a band that it seems that most people love or hate. It seems that those who aren’t that fond of the band these days are stuck in Death Metal gloom or so it seems. The rationale usually follows that the bands best material were their first three discs because ‘they were heavy and brutal’ and nothing else since then has been ‘up to snuff.’ In the other camp are those, like myself, who love HEAVY METAL and realize not every song must be 1000mph with guttural barking.

Those distinctions are important because as I come to listen and review Mortifications 1996 Envision Evangeline it must be noted that this IS NOT a death metal album. Quite simply this release brings the best heavy metal elements into one package. Power metal, Groove Metal and elements of Progressive and Thrash metal make this one superb piece of metal work.

Opening with the very Iron Maidenesqe and, in my opinion, early Rush like title song. ‘Envision Evangeline’ runs eighteen minutes with multiple movements. Reminiscent of a classic Maiden epic or early Rush prog adventures, this song tells the story of the Last Supper and Crucifixion, Resurrection of Jesus Christ. Intelligent lyric writing complements the strong metal atmospherics of the music. ‘Envision Evangeline’ is a powerful song that shares a powerful story.

Immediate standouts from the other seven songs are pretty obvious “Northern Storm” with its groove inspired riff is simply crushing. As a matter of fact I have to be careful not to get the pit going here as I listen (My wife hates that!). “Noah was a Knower” is another obvious bit of musical intensity that also contains some great lyric writing. Steve showing a rather dry bit of humor with the line “100 of real hard work/Noah sat down and had a Coffee!” Hits my funny bone every time.

“Peace in the Galaxy” brings another groove inspired riff that just rocks. Lincoln Bowen offers some rather tasty lead playing here. A solid tempo change breaks the groove then it breaks back down into a rather slower paced section with more Bowen guitar chops ala Maiden. “Jehovah Nissi” also brings a groove inspired riff which just screams. “Crusade for the King” and “Chapel of Hope” provide more solid metal support.

‘Buried into Obscurity’ is the only real barn burner here, pure grind, great riffs and solid playing. The Metal Mind reissue I’ve obtained also includes 4 live tracks and fantastic 16 page booklet with a rather lengthy talk of Mort’s past and a retrospective; however it doesn’t specify who wrote it. The live material I would guess was pulled from one of Mortifications DVD releases but that is only a guess as the notes don’t specify.

The Metal Mind reissues are on gold discs for better sound reproduction and are limited to 2000 pressed. Mine is number 645. All brothers of the metal fraternity should be picking this one up. However if you’re one of the haters who think every Mort album must be Scrolls part two just pass on this so we won’t have to hear your complaining. This album is a classic in its own right. Yes I did say classic. I love it.

10 axes

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