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Good death metal by a Christian band - 85%

Mortificationfan79, December 3rd, 2009

This is Mortification's third album which was originally released in November of 1993. It is their follow up to the 1992 death metal classic Scrolls of the Megilloth.

On this album their is a clear shift in style from its predecessors as the band reverts somewhat back to their thrash metal roots while still maintaining an adequate dose of death metal elements. Also making its way in are a lot of industrial influences. Between each track are little thirty second or so sound bytes that sound kind of mesmerizing which I think adds a nice touch to their new musical direction.

Generally the songs are longer and more complex in structure than on previous releases. Most of the album contains death metal growls although this is occasioned by shouting thrash vocals such as the chorus on the song Human Condition and the verses on Impulsation. Steve Rowe uses a more mid ranged vocal tone with his otherwise recognizable death growl.

Steve Rowe displays his usual high tuned bass mastery that seems to be heard more prominently than on the band's previous releases. It obviously follows the guitar riffs but also compliments them quite well. Only problem is with the song Flight to Victory. It is an entire track of a two minute bass solo which doesn't really add anything positive to the album other than evidently being strongly influenced by legendary Manowar bassist Joey Demaio's playing. Unfortunately it lacks the inspiration of the latter. However, it's not really a hindrance to the album either so I could take it or leave it. Otherwise his outstanding bass playing capabilities are showcased very well within the rest of the songs on here.

Michael Carlisle’s guitar playing is speedy and precise as well as adding more complexity to his riffing and song writing. For instance, with the song Overseer (which he wrote) you hear 9 whole minutes of numerous riffs and some good changes in tempo which solidifies this track as one of the album's strongest despite being so lengthy. Another song that he wrote was From the Valley of Shadows which is on the fringe of being an epic as it is rather lengthy as well as brilliantly composed.

Also, this wouldn't be a review without mentioning the immensely talented Jayson Sherlock's fast and dead on accurate drumming which is showcased here perhaps more so than anything he has done before or since. His incredible timing is just one element of his remarkable ability as one of death metal's premier drummers. And as usual, his swift and precise changes of tempo are quite obvious throughout this entire disc.

The production here is a noticeable improvement from Scrolls... as it is cleaner and every instrument is more clearly heard and not so murky. However it does sound a bit dry which takes away from the heaviness of some of the more "brutal" songs on here.

My favorite songs on here are From the Valley of Shadows, Overseer, and Vital Fluids.

I just gave this album an 85 because in my opinion it's just not quite up to par with their previous two releases although I still regard it as a musically solid album. In my opinion it’s just not quite as heavy as their self titled debut (1991) and their second release Scrolls of the Megilloth (1992).

However, if you like death metal from the early 1990's I would recommend this album as well as their first two albums which at the time were probably the heaviest music recorded by a Christian metal band.