MORTIFERUM – Disgorged From Psychotic Depths

MORTIFERUM – Disgorged From Psychotic Depths

Much of what passes for doom/death metal these days is either fusion of Peaceville Trinity, Morrisound and old Swedish school or any combination of the three, supported by modern production, although, admittedly, more bands are recording in analog rather than digitally. This Washington-ian quartet debut to tip their scales in their favor, with mixed results.

Mortiferum was formed in Olympia, Washington, in 2016.The release of this, their debut album, was preceded with 2 demos: "Altar Of Decay" (2017) and "KTDF Promo MXVIII" (2018). Mortiferum recorded "Disgorged From Psychotic Depths" LP as Max Bowman (guitars, vocals), Chase Slaker (guitars), Alex Mody (drums, vocals) and Tony Wolfe (bass) under the watchful eyes of Evan Mersky, Ethan Camp, and Sal Duncan, the album mixed by Andrew Oswald and mastered by Dan Lowndes.

While the Peaceville Trinity (Anathema, My Dying Bride, Paradise Lost), Morissound (Death, Obituary, Suffocation) are very much present in some measure in their music, the basic sound of Mortiferum is relatively simple. Take Immolation’s "Here In After", mix it with Living Sacrifice’s "Inhabit" and Paradise Lost’s "Lost Paradise". Pour My Dying Bride’s "Turn Loose The Swans" and Gorefest’s "False" all over it in such a measure, so as to allow maximum darkness, doom and heaviness to soak through but minimal, simple if tasteful melody to lurke within. While cooking, salt with Obituary’s "The End Complete" to taste. Serve slow, long, and occasionally fast but always brutal, the excellent opener "Archaic Vision Of Despair", a very confident and coherent number as best representation of the aforementioned recipe. Had all 6 tracks been of that quality it would have been easily a 5/6 review

But the remaining 4 tracks (not counting the instrumental) are not quite matching the excellence of the opener, the closer "Faceless Apparition" possibly the closest to accomplishing the feat if it wasn’t so short, or rather, if it didn’t seem so short to the listener. "Funereal Hallucinations", which opens in a manner recalling Korn’s "Kill You" tries very hard with melody and atmospherics equal measure but gets lost and looses focus throughout while Interlude (Anamnesis) teases with a shockingly acoustic harmony worthy of first 30 seconds of Death’s "Destiny" to just leave one hanging and yearning for more. The tracks are very good but that final missing edge, that final missing sheen, riff, a melody, something I can’t quite put my finger on, keep them from being excellent save for the opener.

Mortiferum is worthy of consideration from fans of the aforementioned influences but, in truth, it is too early to tell where they intend to take their music. To the good, they have a great, foreboding, atmospheric doomy sound they should keep, to the bad, the inconsistent songwriting which suffers from too much repetition or hanging on one riff for an extended time. But there’s potential and I think you’ll agree.