good yet undervalued band from the Russian metropolis presents its 3rd
CD, consisting of 9 tracks for a length a little longer than 29 minutes
and an excellent front cover, made of a particularly efferated crime
scene (whose death is similar to one given by the crazy boy in 'Violent
Shit'), making even the intervened cops shocked and disgusted by the
penetrating blood smell.
And that's where the story starts, with an intro based on the serial
killer's attack, later leaving way to the band's style with "Have
You Ever Killed?", an old school death metal song, rife with
slowings and accelerations, reminding of Cannibal Corpse in the more
dynamical passages; there are also 4 mini guitar solos, mixed low as
in Peter Neuber's tradition, though I like them louder actually.
"Fresh Human Meat" emphasizes Maxim's basswork, as
the recording is unbalanced in favour of bass sounds; anyway, Vitaly
is excellent and really personifies a demon here.
The psycho's call rightly opens "My Name Is Death",
a track where the alternation of guttural and screamed vocals is very
frequent; Chris Barnes' ex band's ghost hovers once again, yet the song
turns out to be very catchy also thanks to some guitar dissonances.
Probably the most brutal one of the batch is "Coroner's Report";
you can but be impressed by that owing to the best vocal lines of the
CD and because it's full of stop 'n' goes. A macabre intro anticipates
"Oozing Yellow Slime", beginning with a granitic and
groovy riff, followed by another thrash one. An arpeggio drenched in
an autopsy shroud on which some vocals are added to describe the cadaver's
place before the guitar crescendo make this a really original and well-written
"Just Blood (Is it A Crime?)" stands out by the superb
final acceleration after a gradual tightness growth, while "Bifurcation
of the Person" contains Kazakhstan's T.H.R.O.N.'s Yuri's aggressive
but not guttural vocals together with Vitaly's before a bizarre end
with techno sounds abruptly closes the matter (but that's positive as
it proves Mortem are trying not to be repetitive).
A classic example of death metal rife with different vocals (brutal,
harsh or effected) is "Confession of the Serial Killer",
a mid tempo embellished by creeping bass lines, time changes and excellent
match between vocals, drums and axe; the end steals a morbid Nuclear
Death riff from their songbook and then pays homage to the peerless
Floridian gods again with an acceleration like a ton of bricks.
Finally "Death" is just a short outro composed of noises,
sombre arpeggios and a freezing chorus; a deign finalé surely.
In conclusion, it seems clear that the 2 guitarists have tried to set
up a different record, trying some experimental solutions with fairly
good results rather than a tight and ultrafast/brutal CD from beginning
to end. The recording is all but top-notch, especially concerning the
guitar solos, while the drums and voices sound good even if they don't
have the devastating impact a big budget recording would be able to
achieve. Untipically for a death metal record, the bass is superbly
recorded and plays a few memorable scales, so if you own a good hi fi
equipment or a DVD-player, the sound shouldn't be a big bug for you.
Not a masterpiece yet a CD you gonna like to re-listen to frequently,
and those are rae goods nowadays!
MARKUS GANZHERRLICH - 12/8/04
Mortem in Kiev
Mortem and a Polish reporter from Crimea