Thursday, May 20, 2010


It's really difficult to believe that Mortification has been around for 20 years. Yet that is the case and as such, Nuclear Blast wanted to make sure that we were all aware and have provided a double disc to commemorate the occasion.

The Mort fan is treated to five re-recorded classics and disc one, “Nocturnal,” “Grind Planetarium,” “Impulsation,” “Hammer of God,” and “The Majestic Infiltration of Order.” All of the new recordings are strong and powerful. The guitars provided by Mick Jelinic are saturated with energy and heaviness; drums provided by Adam Zaffarese deliver the driving punch they’re supposed to. Steve sounds great just slightly more mature and raunchy vocally. His bass soaring like it should.

“Grind Planetarium” and “Hammer of God” enjoy the greatest benefit from these newly re-recorded tracks.

Disc two offers us the Live Planetarium album, which has been out of print for quite a while. It’s not clear if any re-mastering was done as no credit was given. Not owning a copy of the original I can’t really compare, but to have it here is a great touch.

The other material on discs one and two represent a collection of live material taken from the many different stages along the journey of Mortification. From their first concert in 1990 to 2007’s Nordic Fest appearance, a wide swath of performances are presented. Yet the actual audio quality at times is a little suspect. Most of these performances are true bootleg quality. The clarity at times is a little disappointing, but I also remember in my tape trading days I would’ve salivated all over stuff like this. It’s raw, imperfect, and for that reason alone these are for the collector who must have everything.

The performances presented range from Mexico City 2004, New Zealand 1996, Australia 1990 & 1995, and Norway 2007. There is also an acoustic performance from Dutch radio in 2001. How do you do acoustic Mortification? Just listen to this, unique and different.

It should probably be remembered that the underground has not been known for perfection. So this retrospective does have an underground feel. A great booklet is also included, 28 pages of photos and a great retrospective by Steve is presented here. It would've been great if there had been some live color photos. Maybe a journalistic point of view could have been included as well.

I found for the most part, this double disc set to be quite enjoyable, however I would say if I already owned the Live Planetarium album, this album could be passed over. Maybe some live video clips or studio video material could've been included as well. XX Years in the Underground is what this compilation is entitled. The underground is where Mort has shined all these years here’s to hoping that Mort still has more music to give. Any Mort posters?

7 axes

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