Monday, September 16, 2013

Mortician - Domain of Death (2001)

Mortician have always been extremely hit or miss with me. In the very beginning (or I should say, around the time 'Mortal Massacre' was released) I was drawn to them and completely obsessed with their mountainous guitar sound and Will's thunderous vocal rumblings. When they started to employ a drum machine for further recordings, I began to have my doubts. For the most part I didn't mind so much but every now and then I couldn't rid myself of the realization that everything sounded very cut and dry due to the 'click-clack' of the drum sound, not to mention that the programming wasn't the most imaginative I'd heard.

With those gripes aside, Mortician has always been a band that suffers from its excesses. Whether it's the 90 minute intros that bore me to violent fucking insanity or whether it's the almost mandatory inclusion of some of the most remedial sounding death metal (they call it grind, whatever) riffs accompanied by the lamest drum programming this side of a typist hopped up on a curious mixture of benzos and aderall, I've always felt that Mortician were better off releasing nothing more than 7"s as it would seem that when it comes time to gather the proper amount of material to justify a full length album, Will and the gang seemingly get caught off guard and resort to throwing any old fucking riff and lame ass pattern arrangement together in order to meet the deadline. I mean seriously, they go from one or two absolutely killer fucking death metal tracks with riffs that would laugh at the damage done in Moore, Oklahoma to some of the most ridiculously gay segments, so bad that I have to turn off the lights out of sheer embarrassment, cringing in the dark and hoping it will go away.

Now, I've always heard that the guitarist of Mortician had to dumb his shit down because the bass "skills" of vocalist and angry midget Will Rahmer were far from fucking exemplary. Having heard the guitarist's shit outside of Mortician, particularly Primitive Brutality, I would have to assume this to be true as quite clearly the guy knows how to handle his instrument. I can only imagine that he and Will are the best of friends as I can not come up with any other reason why he would subject himself to the mindlessness of this project. Again, I do like Mortician, but only in small doses and mainly for nostalgia. At my age now, I hardly have the patience or endurance levels for constant blast beats and such. Of course Mortician certainly divvies up the changes of tempo throughout, but the overall atmosphere (or lack thereof) comes across as monotonous nonetheless.

Also of note, Mortician's albums have a tendency of getting lamer than the last with this one gasping for air at the bottom of the barrel. It wouldn't be until the release of the appropriately titled, 'Re-Animated Dead Flesh' that the band would sound somewhat fresher and hungrier than they had since arguably the 'Zombie Apocalypse' -ep-.

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