MORTUOUS - Through Wilderness (DAWNBREED Records LP 2018)
A calm, beautiful tone of acoustic guitar opens this album... but do not let it fool you, as this calmness in music will not last for long and soon a proper carnage of old school genuine death metal shall begin. Although do allow themselves to incorporate few more melodic fragments, most of their music is focused on massively heavy, vicious death metal riffage with good balance between blasting, crushing stuff and more doomy, slow paced bulldozers. And it sounds absolutely fantastic. Already their previous effort "Among the Lost" made a huge impression on me, I allowed myself to give it a very high score in the review I did back in 2015. "Through Wilderness" basically extends everything into "better" and "more impressive", to become one of my favourite albums of recent months. And if you call yourself a death metal worshipper, you should know you cannot miss this record!
Firstly, you will get hit by a savagery of "Beyond Flesh", which is one of the fastest and most relentless songs on the album. But already this song will show you that music is far from being one dimensional, as together with blasting parts there are slow paced crushing riffs and very melodic, memorable lead. And the whole album is as such... Incantation- brutality with faster and slower songs, mixed up with the Autopsy filthiness, and Bolt Thrower majesty, doom / death metal and Swedish death metal harmonies. I value highly the of "Through Wilderness", filled killer riffs, great arrangements, very good vocals and instrumentation. This album is utterly old school and sounds like an early 90's masterpiece, in my opinion. If was released back then, you all would praise it as much as you praise "Dreams of the Carrion Kind", "Cause of Death" or "Mortal Throne of Nazarene". These guys just know exactly how to use their influences properly and have enough ideas and talent to turn them into something exceptional. And fresh, because it may be old school, traditional death metal, but it doesn't sound tired or repetitive. It's fresh and passionate. It doesn't re-discover the genre's rules and whatever, but everything is done here in best possible way. I love the brutality, the heaviness - like for instance when "Bitterness" hits you with these doomy riffs, which could easily crush the walls in your apartment, if you play the music loud. Obviously, I already mentioned that never stays on one side of the road, so in this song they will also grind you with speed and ferocious aggression. And melody is there as well! !!! Speaking of the melody and doom / death metal, for me "Chrysalis of Sorrow" is the best song on the album, just because it delivers the classic doom / death in the vein of Decomposed or in such a brilliant way. Also, the ending part of "Subjugation of Will" is something I have to mention, as it's absolutely fantastic.
Fuck, they even got two Autopsy members to get more interesting effect – so good to hear Chris vomits! Yeah, it seems like anything touches, it turns into rotten fuckin gold. I absolutely love this band.
This vinyl was released through Dawnbreed Records, in nice gatefold with all the stunning, obscure artwork. This is European LP version, there’s also slightly different US LP version from Records (released on my B-day... coincidence choose whichever you please, but do not hesitate to buy this amazing album.
Standout tracks: "Chrysalis of Sorrow", "Bitterness", "Subjugation of Will"