MORTUOUS "Upon Desolation"

By Dr. Abner Mality

"Carve" comes straight at your throat with a rusty steak knife, hacking and slashing with pure death metal savagery. It's merciless but also kind of faceless...there are plenty like it.

However, with "Nothing", MORTUOUS surprise by adding an honest-to-Bach violin solo that is mournful and stately. The song drops from grumbling brutality to the more ornate death-doom sound of MY DYING BRIDE or PARADISE LOST. The switch is deftly done and indicates there's a bit more than meets the eye here. And "Upon Desolation" follows this template, being about 3/4th sick total death metal mixed with 1/4 of atmospheric death doom. We hear the mix again on "Metamorphosis", "Defiled By Fire" and "Graveyard Rain".

The parts that rip your head off are plenty energetic but rather anonymous. I hear similar stuff on a daily basis. But they so smoothly move into occasional Gothic doom that it becomes rather tantalizing. They sound like they are capable of "flipping" their formula. That will keep me awaiting the next MORTUOUS album.