Review Summary: A fantastic and innovative album from the early 90s by a great Christian band. Please check it out asap!
“Post Momentary Affliction” is the fourth studio album of 14 albums by Mortification. In my humble opinion, this is the best of all of their albums. The tracks here present Mortification at the most creative and innovative point in their career. The album is a flawless mixture of grind and doom metal with great atmosphere and probably their best production to date. The album is tight, concise, well written, and has stood the test of time for seventeen years. Verily, verily I say to you, this album is a classic and should be in any extreme music connoisseur’s collection. Yes, I know that many folks overlook this album because Mortification is a Christian band. However, as far as I’m concerned, if you can digest the sickness of Cannibal Corpse or the satanic hatred of Deicide lyrics, this should be approached in the same manner: don’t take it seriously.
The first thing that I think will strike the listener upon absorbing this album is the spectacular production. In 1993, all digital production was just getting its wheel’s spinning, yet somehow, a fairly unknown Christian band from Australia managed to secure a decent-enough budget to pull it off. The results are fantastic. I don’t know what they did, but Mort seemed to nail every tone. The slightly dry and organic guitar tone, the thick bass, and crystal clear drums are all present. Don’t let me forget lead man/vocalist/bassist Steve Rowe’s vocals, as he sounds like he shoved a bottle of Guinness Extra Stout into his vocal chords and was then kicked in the throat. Even the original album artwork is impeccable. From the cover art to the extensive liner notes to the crazy gold/black-swirl pattern on the disc shows nothing but supreme professionalism. The Nuclear Blast release is lame by comparison.
The album has a creepy intro followed by a powerful and riff-tastic song called “From the Valley of Shadows”. Mort pulls all their punches with their grind meets doom mix, and remain somewhat catchy along the way. Michael Carlisle’s guitar and Jason Sherlock’s (have you heard the Christian unblack holy metal band Horde????) drums mesh quite well, creating a pummeling wall of sound. The solo’s are atonal and discordant, and Steve Rowe’s distinct bass lines and tone let you know who is keeping tabs.
Further into the recording, blast beats and the occasional shouts lay waste, making way for some more doomy material like the brooding “Distarnish Priest”. The opening vocal lines to this song make me wonder if Steve has been smoking for years, and is coughing a formative tar/snot loogey from his lungs. Either way, the song rules. Ha!
Other stand-outs on this album include the incredibly odd and inspiring “Grind Planetarium”, which features an otherworldly progression and melody, and the thunderous and plodding “Overseer” which will beat you relentlessly for about nine minutes with its blast beats and alternating slow doominess. The pseudo title track “This Momentary Affliction” is short snippet of grinding guitars and blast-beats, which runs straight into the uplifting and bass-laden “Flight of Victory” instrumental.
Overall, this album is a beast. Steve Rowe’s lyrics are the most convicted of anything he’s written, and the music speaks for itself. It is a gem that I think any extreme music aficionado should own. Unfortunately, it seems that most folks either love Mort or can't stand them, so I hope you are with me as the former. Also, most of Mort’s recordings have been remastered and reissued on gold discs on Metal Mind Productions, a Polish music label. The discs include extensive liner notes and are in digipak form.