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Grade-A Old School Death Metal - 100%

Awakened260, December 9th, 2017
Written based on this version: 2008, CD, Metal Mind Productions (Digipak, Gold disc, Remastered, Limited edition)

I don't know where to begin with this album. When I first heard it, I was blown away by the sound. I have never heard any other death metal album that sounded quite like this one. It soon became my number one favorite death metal album. All of the members of the band are at their prime on this album. Scrolls of the Megilloth is, without a doubt, the heaviest album by Mortification within their entire discography. Unfortunately, they have been living this album down ever since it was released in 1992. Mortification's first few albums can be considered their best but this one stands out among those albums and even makes its own mark on death metal worldwide. If you didn't know, Mortification is a Christian band; their lyrics are usually centered around Christian themes or God. Now with that in mind, I find it impressive that this album is considered a cult classic even amongst non-Christian death metalheads. But anyway, enough about the band's history; let's start talking about the actual album.

The first thing I have to mention is Steve Rowe's vocals. Steve maintains a very deep and guttural growl throughout the entire album with some minor variations in certain songs like Ancient Prophesy or Nocturnal. What makes Steve's vocals in this albums so special, in my opinion, is that he somehow manages to enunciate the words he's saying and yet maintain a very deep and guttural growl. It's as if someone were talking to you rather than a death metal vocalist doing a death metal vocal for the sake of death metal vocals. That right there is one of the reasons this album is so heavy. I still have yet to hear a vocalist as frightening as Steve Rowe's vocals on this album. The only one that comes close is Glen Benton from Deicide's first two albums, but even then I don't find those vocals as dark and frightening as Steve Rowe's on SotM.

As for the instrumentation, the rhythm guitarist, Michael Carlisle, does an amazing job of creating some dark and eerie riffs. Songs like Death Requiem, Necromanicide, and Eternal Lamentation feature some really dark sounding riffs that will sort place you within the story of the lyrics when you hear them. It should be noted that there aren't any guitar solos on this album, but if you're like me, you won't mind. Jayson Sherlock was the drummer for Mortification for the first three albums before moving on to other projects. He does a fantastic job on this album. You can hear the intensity in each song as well as the technicality. The drumming isn't just straight death metal drumming (although it can be on a couple songs). Jayson has some odd time signatures when it comes to his blast beats but somehow it fits and sound brutal.

If you like death metal then I would recommend you go to Amazon, or wherever else, and buy the album. This album should be on the shelf of any death metalhead.

Christian metal's finest hour - 92%

Mortificationfan79, November 29th, 2009

This is Mortification's second album which was originally released in August of 1992. It is their follow to the 1991 self titled debut.

This disc contains full on death metal with hardly any thrash influences present and incorporates some grindcore and doom influences. This is considered by many fans as the band's best work and is certainly their heaviest material to date.

The album begins with night noises to create a rather dark and sort of eerie atmosphere. Then the faint sound of drums works its way in and gets progressively louder with each pounding beat which then leads into a sinister Drop D tuned riff. This is the opening track appropriately titled Nocturnal. The rest of the album flows very well with alot of nice tempo changes to keep the listening experience interesting. Steve Rowe utilizes a rather frightening grind baritone death growl that is double layered as well as being accompanied by shrieking background vocals from both Michael Carsile and Jayson Sherlock. Also Steve's bass playing prowess comes through very strong throughout the entire album as it is both clearly audible and skillful.

Michael Carsile's rhythm work is aggressively executed yet precise. In fact, enough to even make up for the lack of guitar solos on this album as he is more experienced as a rhythm genius instead of a lead player.

And of course you have the world renowned Jayson Sherlock behind the drum kit. His incredibly fast and accurate blast beats and double bass kicks are actually one of the highlights of this release as a whole. His remarkable changes in tempo are among the best this subgenre has to offer.

The production, although not stellar, still holds up pretty well for an early 90's death metal offering. My favorites are Nocturnal, Terminate Damnation, Eternal Lamentations, and Necromanicide. The album ends with an 11 minute mid tempo epic titled Ancient Prophecy which I think ends the album perfectly.

In conclusion, Scrolls of the Megilloth is a vital piece of extreme metal history in the realm of Christian metal as well as the secular scene. Get this if you enjoy good quality old school death metal whether you concur with their profound Christian beliefs or not.

This is death metal! - 96%

ksevile, May 18th, 2009

Mortification is considered by many to be the best Christian death metal band (and also the most extreme) that ever walked the earth. With the release of this album, I can certainly see why. "Scrolls of the Megilloth" is the perfect dosage of death metal to get my ears bleeding. This album hasn't gotten old no matter how many listens I give it. Everything about this album: Drums, vocals, guitar, and even lyrics stand out to me in a way that no other album has in the past.

First off, let's start by saying that Mortification's 2 previous albums were decent but they were not as outlasting as this one. Any track, whether it is the title track or the ghoulish outro "Ancient Prophecy", will leave a lasting impression on any listener. Never again will Mortification have such a classic and solid release like this one.

Now let’s get onto the music shall we. Well vocals here are absolutely flawless from beginning to end. Steve Rowe has one of the most underrated and frightening growls in all of death metal. His first vocals start in the track "Nocturnal". Here he shows the slower side of his vocals, but they will eventually speed up. I would honestly compare his performance on this album to that of Chris Barnes' on Cannibal Corpses' infamous debut album, "Eaten Back to Life." Rowe's vocals have yet to be matched by any vocalist so far. Sure maybe Chris Barnes matched him but, any other vocalist is yet to achieve it. Sometimes they sound almost like the shrieks commonly used in black metal. His standout tracks would obviously be the title track, “Necromanicide”, and "Terminate Damnation." On the title track Rowe shows that he can not only be a guttural vocalist, but one who has amazing speed. Vocals on this album, are easily some of the best produced in the entire death metal genre.

Guitar on this album is just as impressive. The guitar player, Michael Carlisle, shows us how he can not only play fast but also with precision and skill. His best tracks on this album would have to be the title track and "Eternal Lamentation". Throughout these 2 tracks Carlisle clearly exemplifies why Mortification is a death metal band. His speed is comparable to the earlier Slayer release "Reign in Blood." Also on this album he shows that death metal doesn't have to be fast to sound good. In the last track, "Ancient Prophecy", he plays at a surprisingly slow pace. It's a perfect outro for such a great album. Again, his performance on this album for me can only be matched probably by the likes of Jeff Hanneman and Kerry King from Slayer. The guitar for me is how death metal should be done.

Another exceptional performance is at the drums. Drums here pack just as much speed and intensity seen in this particular genre. Here Jason Sherlock plays the fastest blast beats ever heard from Mortification. Surprisingly for such speeds, he is able to maintain a constant rhythm with precision. Just like the guitar solos, there are also drumming solos. These solos aren't that impressive but they definitely deserve credit. Never before have I seen drumming done so well. Aside from the drumming here, Sherlock also is the backing vocalist. He sure does a good job as one. His highs are comparable to that of the ones heard in the grindcore band Carcass. He's obviously not a good lead vocalist, but he does a damn good job at being the backing one. His standout track as 2nd vocalist for me was definitely “Necromanicide”. The raspy and high screams at the beginning had me replaying the song over and over.

Production is very good when you actually consider that this album was recorded back in 1992. Sometimes it sounds a little fuzzy like in the title track maybe, but the rest is amazing. Definitely not the best but worthy of recognition. So as you can tell this is just an awesome album. If you're looking for some death metal, this is it. It's got everything you want in death metal. This album certainly proves that just because something is christian, doesn't mean it isn't listenable.

This IS a good album! - 80%

natrix, February 13th, 2007

While I can't give Mortification total credit for originality, this is a good album. With this thing out on Nuclear Blast records, I can see how this album alone solidified Mortification's reputation as a strong band. I've heard a bit of their work since, which doesn't come close at all.

Every instrument here is a strong point. Even Steve's bass, which I've always enjoyed for it's rather loud quality, stands out, growling along strongly a bit above the guitars. The guitars roar with Old Testament fire and brimstone vengeance, picks reduced to dust in a tremolo fury...just like all those bad boy Satanic bands! When they slow down for a doomier part, it comes across really heavy, and they tend to explore the slower, crushing tempos a good deal. Solos are insane tapping and whammy dives, not too much the classy type, but who gives a fuck?

The drummer, Jason Sherlock, is very competent. His blasts never fall out of time, and he uses fills effectively. He's not overly technical, more of a Gene Hoglan powerful style.

Steve's vocals are your typical death grunt, sort of like Kam Lee with a cold, but drier. It certainly fits the music quite well, and hey! You can't really understand what he's saying, anyway.

If you want to dismiss this band just because their lyrics, you're an absolute fool. This album is quite far from sucking. Not the most original, but certainly enjoyable.

And They Seem Such Nice Boys! - 85%

corviderrant, April 13th, 2004

Believe it or not, there was a (mercifully brief) time that I listened to Christian metal, oxymoron though most of it is, after my grandmother passed away 12 years ago. I was fumbling and latched onto Christianity as a way of coping--and ditched it promptly once I discovered what those folks are all about. And I am still venomously, vigorously anti-Christian to this day. But damned if this album isn't pretty good!

Let's get the bad parts out of the way first--the vocals are absolute tripe, worse than anything Chris Barnes ever puked up while cupping his microphone. And obviously effected out to the max, whie I'm at it. That and the heavy-handed uber-Christian lyrical content get points knocked off this review. And while the musicianship is mostly excellent (especially Steve Rowe's bass prowess--he makes up for his vocals with this and how), I can hear the blast beats coming unglued here and there, so they could have been tighter on those parts. Other than those things, this is a worthy album musically.

Case in point: "Terminate Damnation" starts out with a furious blasting intro that goes into a (cheesey) death groan and lyrics declaiming with a vengeance as a slow, double kick-fuelled crunch riff starts up--perfect pit fodder, this tune is!--and goes back into the blast beats, then back into more of a standard thrash part. The thundering middle part, where Rowe declares "The ostentatiousness of Satan has been rendered to the burial ground!" will get you banging as long as you don't pay too much heed to the lyrics. The guitar tone is a nasty, hollow crunch reminiscent of Swedish death metal, and really drives the point home on that part.

"Raise The Chalice" gets to showcase Rowe's bass work, and has a somewhat unique feature in that after each chorus there is a brief part of nothing but blast beat drumming and precise, neat bass shredding somewhat reminiscent of Manowar's legendary Joey DeMaio--Rowe is a badass on the bass, with his clean, trebly-yet-resonant tone showing he is not fooling around here. You also get to hear him go for it on the between verse parts of "Eternal Lamentation", another full-on thrasher with Jayson Sherlock stomping the crap out of his kick pedals. The production and mix on this album is excellent, too, I might add. "Inflamed" has a nice spoken word part in the middle that is slightly buried in the mix, but has a eerie feeling to it as Rowe's real voice comes through to declare the merits of faith.

As I said, the lyrics are heavy-handed to say the least, and that bothers me, as do trhe vocals. But other than that, this is musically a strong album that will motivate you to at least give this band a chance. The music makes up for the lyrics, anyway, and let the record show that I am an atheist by Christian standards. Crank it up so I can sin some more, yo!