Metal To Infinity

Even if you don’t like the musical direction of Mortification, you will have to admit that the fans of this Australian band are treated like kings!  First of all, there is a re-release of the debut album “Break The Curse” (originally by Nuclear Blast in 1990), just to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the band! But there is more, as you will find the hard to get studio version of ‘Time Crusaders’, a Lightforce rendition of ‘Eyes Of Destruction’, and last but not least, the live EP ‘Noah Sat Down And Listened To The Mortification Live E.P. ‘While Having A Coffee’. Isn’t that a mouthful? Yes it is, but the fans of the band will be stoked as there is also an interview with Steve Rowe (bass guitars and vocals), ánd a bonus DVD with the very first Mortification concert. It was originally shot on a VHS recorder, but the quality is decent.  So far, the overview of what you can expect when you buy the ‘Break The Curse 1990-2010 / 20th Anniversary Gold Edition’ double cd…  

Before the band was formed in 1990 by Steve Rowe, the musical experience and training happened with the Christian Power Metal band Lightforce. Twenty years ago, Mortification stood up out of the ashes of Lightforce, and commenced a hallucinating career.  For some, the band played Death Metal, for others it was an Australian approach of the European Thrash metal scene. Albeit the musical styles can be discussed, one thing is for sure. Mortification released numerous albums, videos, live albums, compilations, bootlegs, and they summoned the best, together with the staff of Roxx Records to release this highlight.   

Let’s take a look at the original ‘Break The Curse’ songs.  Opener ‘Blood Sacrifice’ sets the tone directly.  Most of the songs on the debut album are rather short in duration; let’s say between 1 minute (track 4 “Turn”, track 10 “The Majestic Infiltration Of Order”) up to 5 minutes (track 2 “Brutal Warfare”, track 7 “Illusion Of Life”). They all have the same heavy riffing and biting lyrics!  

I believe that Mortification succeeded in bringing a lifestyle into their music. The music is really intense; the bass of Steve Rowe is like a rolling thunder, while the guitars of Cameron Hall are really imminent and furious.  Young drummer Jayson Sherlock understood how to keep the beat going and those three gentlemen can easily be described as pioneers of extreme music, whether it’s Death Metal or Euro-thrash.  

I was anxious to check out the DVD that was included as a bonus.  I told you already that the original recordings were decent, but compared with nowadays technical possibilities, it’s pretty clear that a period of 20 years is a huge step in a human life. One thing is for sure, the band is giving 200% and the sound is by moments legendary.  Take a good listen to the bass of Steve Rowe. His Fender is so pure and heavy in the mix that it sounds fabulous! The band is really going wild and the crowd is doing even better!  The 14 tracks on the DVD indicate that a live gig of Mortification was overwhelming and can be advised as exemplary for many of the today bands. 

My rating:  83 / 100 (Review by Patrick De Sloover)