The dank, deep darkness of Washington State birthed Mortiferum back in 2016 and their discography is a battlefield littered with devastated corpses. Their previous effort on Profound Lore, Disgorged From Psychotic Depths, was so wretchedly heavy I’d use it as foundations for a house. Their latest work, Preserved In Torment is still death/doom but leaning much more towards the death side. It is out now, once again through the blessed Profound Lore, who seem to be finding homes for these new wunderkinds.
Eternal Procession immediately kicks off with a massive riff ploughing through everything in its path, like the reanimated corpse of Bolt Thrower coming back for revenge. This isn’t your shimmering, wall of sound death/doom but more the Asphyx/Autopsy/Bolt Thrower axis where the doom is more implied through the atmosphere and the thickness of the riff.
Incubus Of Bloodstained Visions is a sensory battering for the ages, devastating blows rain down from drums and frets, while a guttural growl roars above the maelstrom. With every slow motion crush you are reminded of an inexorable crawl of lava; fiery and volatile when unleashed but slowing to an inevitable, drowning dark.
The glorious dirging riff that opens Seraphic Extinction is a thing of morbid beauty, and the way it builds into this monstrous, cavernous, almost dissonant black hole of churning metal is excellent. This is where the doom of Mortiferum‘s sound really comes in, channelling Winter or Thergothon by tearing a fatal rend in our reality.
a powerful, massive death metal album slowed down to a devastating crawl…
Exhumed From Mortal Spheres hits you with the force of that collapsing universe, a chaotic blast of death metal roiling into Immolation-like swaying uneasiness. I must’ve listened to Caudex Of Flesh about four times before I could write anything about it; I was so absorbed in its miasmic power, time became immaterial to me.
The best thing about Preserved In Torment is simple to define; it is just a powerful, massive death metal album slowed down to a devastating crawl. That doesn’t really do the vast scope, or the almost hypnotic guitar work enough credit, but it is the essence of Mortiferum‘s sound. Death is key, death is forever, death is eternal.
Preserved In Torment imbues you with a definitive sense of doom, but it is more of the personal endgame than the music genre. A morbid essence distilled and crafted at a measured pace into something grotesquely beautiful.
Scribed by: Sandy Williamson