Everything is quiet; everything appears to be calm as you read next to your fireplace one lonely night. Suddenly you hear a noise and turn around only to realize it was a small squirrel walking through the woods and you go back to your reading. Seconds later you hear the noise again. And again, a creaking, chilling noise it begins to become more and more frequent and more urgent, rising in volume as it appears to come closer and closer. Frightened, you look for the source of the sound, but when you encounter it all is lost, a man with a ski mask waves a giant butcher knife over your face and proceeds to stab it into your throat. As you twist and turn in your own blood and suffer in your last moments of agony the murderer only chuckles and watches the spectacle with vibrant amusement.
Terrifying scene is it not? That is the kind of feeling Mortician invoke in every single one of their songs, a quick thrill accentuated by drum machine blast beats, a super distorted bass and completely unintelligible growls so deep a ***ing whale would drown in them. However this formula quickly becomes stale. And for the 28 songs (35 in the re-release) Mortician don’t variate one bit from it. And so the album becomes so monotonous and boring that it becomes almost unlistenable in its entirety. The initially funny snippets of dialogue at the beginning of some songs became annoying and cheesy the drum machine blast beats which will initially inspire a good dose of neck breaking become detestable in their lack of variation. Most of the songs are below the 2 minute mark, but unlike many long albums with short songs (see Napalm Death) this actually works against Mortician because, unlike with the grind pioneers, actual songwriting is a non existent commodity here, only displayed once in the excellent “Island Of The Dead” (Which is not surprisingly also the album’s longest song).
Perhaps one of the most positive things about the album is that you can’t understand *** of what the singer is saying. This might sound like a surprising thing to say, normally one wants to understand the words to a song, however once you pick up the lyric sheet you will come to understand me. The lyrics are truly repugnant, not because of the amount of gore, blood or murder, but because of the quality of the writing, worthy of a four year old walrus with mental disabilities. Excerpts include “Guts spilling out, one more still left, knife tears the flesh” as well as “Tortured-fleshcrave, hippie crazed cult” and the classic “Axe swing, limbs are chopped off, fresh blood, spraying the walls”. After a quick read through you will be well glad that the words are impossible to make out through the layer of blast beats, distortion and excessively low growls. Because of the excessive amount of distortion it’s also hard to realize what the instruments, especially the bass, are doing. The effect is overused to such a level that bass breaks become huge walls of fuzz where it is nearly impossible to make out any notes. Instead of making the album sound heavier or more brutal it simply makes it pretty clear that the band want to hide what little instrumental skill they may have.
Mortician is what could be called a “shuffle band”. When they turn up on shuffle you don’t skip the song and it’s actually a quiet enjoyable forty seconds when you are in the right mood, however you don’t listen to the whole album because you basically have to hear that same thing 28 times. Individual songs are quiet enjoyable for the standard extreme metal fan, and hell, death-grind fans and brutal (brootal) death metal fans will probably get a good kick out of this. But it’s just too boring and monotonous to be a rewarding listen. Occasionally, the band show they can actually write good songs, but their failure to display this more often, or at least to variate their sound a little, makes this album extremely uninteresting.