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Effective, Minimalist Death Metal - 88%

halfassed, February 20th, 2008

Mortician is a perfect embodiment of musical purity. The fact that Mortician’s albums sound extremely similar is a result of the band’s devotion to fundamental principles of extreme metal. Mortician does not compromise by experimenting, branching out, or “evolving”. Mortician is anti-progressive, minimalist death metal - and nothing else.

Mortician’s music contains no guitar solos or drums. Its programmed percussion (via drum machine or computer program) sounds unnatural and unmusical. The bass guitar sounds like an incomprehensible wall of buzzing static. The guitars are tuned down and maximally distorted. The vocals sound like a combination of low belching, a kitchen sink garbage disposal, and a large waterfall. Overall the sound is IMMENSE, especially when played out loud on a decent stereo. No band has a more MASSIVE sound.

Most of the songs sound extremely similar, but dynamics do exist. Most notable is the fact that nearly every song begins with an excerpt from a horror movie. These film excerpts range between several seconds to two minutes. The music starts right at the climax of the movie clip. Most songs include blasting fast parts that sound like a vacuum cleaner full of marbles getting sucked into a jet engine. The fast parts are interrupted by slower sections that are more musical and riff-oriented. The riffs are repetitive, ultra-heavy, and memorable. They are the most effective element in Mortician’s sound (followed by the vocals and movie excepts).

I chose to submit this as a review for House By The Cemetery because it is a prototype of their subsequent releases and probably my favorite Mortician album. This is definitely a love-it-or-hate-it album and band.