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'Darkest Day of Horror'

(Mortician Records/Relapse Records CD)

MARK: 77/100


The fourth album from the NY duo came out just one year after "Domain of Death" with 20 new songs for about 40 minutes of Brutal Death Metal with Grindcore bursts and horror themes.
The record was produced and released by the band themselves via Mortician Records and distributed by Relapse records in June 2002. The production immediately makes it clear that this was the heaviest piece of music on earth dropped on that year.

The artwork, once again by Wes Benscoter, features one single booklet sheet openable as an accordion containing lyrics, one photo of the members, and the artwork, all on a blueish background. The front artwork shows a city invaded by a zombie epidemic, while the disc portrays a mad living dead with its mouth wide open just where the hole is. The back cover and the inner pages repeat one of the zombies on the front cover mirrorwise or larger and there is only one female zombie to enrich the artwork on one page; while the artwork is shocking and well-designed (all digitally except for the buildings probably photographed), I wished Wes had drawn more characters as it happened in fact in the vinyl version of 2017 where there are actually new zombies depicted. The negative aspect is that unlike the original cover artwork, the Mortician logo is now white and dripping blood and I guess the first was more appropriate for the concept. Just like the album there are also two different respective t-shirt versions around.
For completists, it has to be said that the very first edition of this platter appeared in the 2001 tour without any artwork, as it was merely in black and white, so of course it's not recommended.

The lyrics deal with the traditional topics we all expect, which are in detail:
-Audra is summoned and murders everybody making the snow red.
-someone trapped in an unknown place who is eaten by insects and buzzards.
-hungry zombies come out of their graves.
-soulless zombies brought back to life by a curse after having been tortured and buried alive.
-millions being burnt alive thru fires from the sky.
-a puzzle of various human parts reassembled.
-torso stumps gushing blood and organs.
-rapists meeting their demise by the hand of their victims.
-a mangled mess.
-a town of undead killing and reanimating you again and again (this is the title track and it was inspired by Zombie 2).
-rotting walking dead against few survivors.
-an unstoppable killer on a rampage.
-a cannibalistic family.
-slaying for fun with a knife.
-a ghost house in which many murders occur.
-bombs melting millions(a prosecution of the fifth theme).
-the night of death of a student who has to pass pledges to enter a club.
-seductive anthropophagistic girls.
-the Armageddon.
-children of the corn offer the last elder as a sacrifice to their pagan god.

On this album the drum machine is mixed lower and there are more mid-tempoes than on the previous effort as can be heard from the starter "Audra", a song opened by an intro with growing anguish until the music portion begins real fast, interrupted only by a psychotic mid-tempo riff and sick fuzzy bass lines.
As rapid and violent as part of the track before, "Slowly Eaten" is a one-minute splinter with two Slam slowing downs.
Endowed with a memorable pulverizing riff, "The Bloodseekers" is one of the best written compositions; it sticks in your head quickly along with a perverted riff and a bone-grinding blastbeat.
Originating itself with an extremely cruel intro which fades out while the song's assault kicks off, "Voodoo Curse" possesses a riff which connects two structures giving the most morbid fans lots of aural pleasure. Worthy of mention is also the blastbeat so similar to a stone shower, probably the fastest of the album.
"Massacred" sits on an alternation of blastbeats and downtuned riffs in A processed by an EQ defining Mortician as the band without any compromises at all once and for all.
An intro and a groovy riff reminding something off of "Zombie Apocalypse" replaced in turn by a particularly loud blastbeat are the main ingredients of "Human Puzzle" , whereas "Chopped to Pieces" is another merciless piece under a minute containing a pachydermical riff in the middle of a song made of the best Grind Death the New York combo can offer.
An intro excerpted from "I Spit on Your Grave" prepares for an odd riff and a real nervous drum machine, while the finale is reminiscent of a huge panzer that advances and shoots with a machine-gun: this is what you've got to expect from the slightly Dying Fetusesque "Revenge".
And what a wonderful riff is the one that starts "Mangled"! It is in the vein of some early 2,000's Napalm Death and is sooner in mono and later in stereo. Later on we meet a swifter fraction, then a return of the riff in sweep picking, and finally the swifter fraction to conclude it all.
"Dead and Buried" is composed by an intro dedicated to atrocious suffering, ensued by diverse blastbeats and a catchy riff vaguely tasting like certain Hardcore/Metal.
The title track comprises an intro based on a zombie invasion in New York City. The song commences with mid-paced Death Metal riffing, afterwards it has an abrupt hyper-acceleration, before becoming heavy like it was at the ouverture. The undead vocal groans and the dramatic power of the music contribute in unison in delivering the right atmosphere that works as a link to the movie angst. Highlight of the album in my opinion!
"Rampage" contains a set of massive riffs, as well as unusual licks in mono for Mortician during the ferocious blastbeats.
A sadistic intro characterizes "Cannibalistic Fiends", a composition that includes riffs halfway between Hardcore, Death and Grindcore, hard to define but for sure highly dynamical.
Brief and rich in paroxysmal rhythmic contrasts, "Carving Flesh" is followed by the extremely savage "Ghost House", which resorts to a delightful spectral intro. First we have Doom and Death Metal vibes, then we have a riff that limps like a zombie chasing a victim ignorant of the danger, interrupted by Doom/Death Metal moments, in turn replaced by a superfast ending.
While "Vaporized" is a real short song sounding a bit old style, especially early Carcass, "Pledge Night of Death" comprises an introduction giving me the shivers which precedes two blastbeats and a riff utlizing harmonic sweeps.
After the intro, "Taste for Blood" uses guitar bursts; slow and unstoppable until a grenading blastbeat arrives; then we find a chunky mid-tempo riff, another blastbeat where guitar and bass don't let themselves to be buried under, and in the end the unmercyful riff of the initial part. We're decidedly in front of the most diversified composition of this album.
Just 30 seconds of a high speed slaughter is what constitutes "Disintegrated", coming ahead of "The Final Sacrifice", which owns a televised intro matched with an outro from the same flick; this is the longest track here present (over 5 minutes). A marvellous and indeed original palm-muted riff initiates the composition, successively the same riff remains but is being played faster when a blastbeat pops out. The weaving of 90s Death Metal vocals and guitars brings back some Morbid Angel to the memory, until the drum machine elevates the song during the crushing mid-tempos, and compresses it during a blastbeat. All of these elements are expressed again till they fade out with an outro where we listen to the notorious wicked children's laughters and the voice of the old man during his last seconds of existence.



While almost everybody seems to appreciate Rahmer's distorted bass that sounds like a prisoner getting electrocuted and the quality obtained by the effected detuned guitar to A-standards overwhelming the listeners, there are a couple of debated aspects I read about I disagree with: the vocals don't remind me the ones of a caveman. There exist some very primitive Black Metal acts that get closer to that idea but not Mortician. Their vocals are the finest representation of a zombie's: putrid, obsessive and repetitive like a living dead's: aren't they all just killing entities bush-whacking and hunting for human flesh? Then, that's how they communicate: in a soulless manner devoid of good feelings whatsoever.
Secondly, some people seem to believe that the NY Death Metal squad would do better with a human skinbeater, the way it happened in the first years or how it still happens on stage. What they fail to understand is that this genre is better driven by a drum machine, because it's artificial, cold, mechanical, as punctual and inexorable as a table watch clicks reminding us we're getting closer to our demise; all of that contributes to the desired definitive result of mental oppression.
Moreover, a few detractors claim that the two-man group are the AC/DC, Manowar or Motorhead of Brutal Death Metal and once you get an album off them, you needn't buy the others since they all sound the same. The truth is that every release has its own peculiarities and one can distinguish the most popular tracks from every demo, EP or album since 1989 with ease.

Impaled Nazarene have some faster compositions in their repertoire, yet the outfit from Yonkers is way harder in the end, being similar to a million gigantic planes taking off at the same time while as many trains are derailing at full speed. And considering that Mortician use no guitar leads, no false harmonics, no single melodic notes, given that they very rarely recur to axe solos, they end up being heavier than any Technical Death Metal ensemble I've heard so far.
"Darkest Day of Horror": the perfect soundtrack to every (human or not) serial killer...



01. Audra
02. Slowly Eaten
03. The Bloodseekers
04. Voodoo Curse
05. Massacred
06. Human Puzzle
07. Chopped to Pieces
08. Revenge
09. Mangled
10. Dead and Buried
11. Darkest Day of Horror
12. Rampage
13. Cannibalistic Fiends
14. Carving Flesh
15. Ghost House
16. Vaporized
17. Pledge Night of Death
18. Taste for Blood
19. Disintegrated
20. The Final Sacrifice


Rehearsal 12/14/89 (demo - 1989)
Demo # 1 '90 (demo - 1990)
Brutally Mutilated (EP - 1990)
A Day of Death (Split with Immolation - 1991)
Mortal Massacre (EP - 1991)
Mortal Massacre (Compilation - 1993)
House by the Cemetery (EP - 1995)
Hacked up for Barbecue (CD - 1996)
Zombie Apocalypse (single - 1997)
Zombie Apocalypse/House by the Cemetery (Compilation - 1998)
Zombie Apocalypse (EP - 1998)
Home Videos Volume 1 (Video - 1999)
Chainsaw Dismemberment (CD - 1999)
Domain of Death (CD - 2001)
Darkest Day of Horror (CD - 2002)
Final Bloodbath SEssion (CD - 2002)
Living...Dead (Split - 2003)
Hacked up for Barbecue/Zombie Apocalypse (Compilation - 2004)
House by the Cemetery/Mortal Massacre (Compilation - 2004)
Zombie Massacre Live (Live Album - 2004)
Re-Animated Dead Flesh (CD - 2004)
Relapse Singles vol. 5 (Split - 2005)
Yonkers Death - Unreleased Death Metal Comp from 1991 (Split - 2007)
From the Casket (Compilation - 2016)
Ghoulish Gigs (Compilation - 2016)

Line-up on this record:

Will Rahmer - b, v. (ex-Incantation, ex-Prosthetic Cunt)
Roger J. Beaujard - g., drum programming (also in Bits of Gore,, Primitive Brutality, ex-Malignancy, ex-Gore Project, ex-Prosthetic Cunt, ex-Womp Rat)


Yonkers, NY/Las Vegas, NV- USA

Official sites:

Watch the VIDEO review in English here:

And the Italian version here:

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