Reviewed by David Cranson
Aaahh, the sweet sound of shimmering harp and floating panpipes...is not what you get on this best of collection from one of Australia's LOUDEST bands. If the loudest music you listen to is soft pop turned up to three then this lot are NOT for you. Mortification evolved from a band called Lightforce who split in the late 80s after two albums. I first came across them on 1992's 'Heaven's Metal Collection'. I hated them. "The Destroyer Beholds" was the track, and what a racket they made. Four years down the line and there's a new album out to commemorate the end of their Frontline contract. Times change and musical tastes change. Blues, rock, metal, even well crafted pop gets a listen on the Cranson CD player now. Mortification play loud (no, LOUD), AGGRESSIVE, IN-YOUR-FACE music. They released six studio albums and one live album between 1990 and '95; what you get here are two tracks from each. The band have certainly changed in style over the years. The tracks are in chronological order, the first two showing a more basic thrash edge to the music. You then run the gamut of 'extreme' metal styles throughout the rest of the album. The main audience, I think, would be those who listen to death or black metal styles, although I hesitate to use those terms as they tend to convey all the wrong messages and stereotypes. At times mainman and sole remaining founder member, Steve Rowe's vocals veer towards Roger Martinez of Vengeance fame, but most of the time he's growling like a demented Lemmy. I now have a lot of time for Mortification, the lyrics showing a great Christian maturity and depth. Check out "Bloodworld", "Mephibosheth", the aforementioned "Destroyer. . ." or "Blood Sacrifice" for example. I believe that there is a place for them and others like them in the Christian marketplace - and, who knows, elsewhere. People have said, and will say again, that this stuff cannot - and even should not - by its very nature, be Christian. I would refer them to the song "Nocturnal" and the words of Sacred Warrior, "I've been seen in places that you would not go." Also Mark Chapter 16 v15. Brutal, but excellent.
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