Mortem (Rus)
'Death Is My Name'

(Warpath records)


MARK: 83/100



A 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 song.
"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!



Mortem in Kiev

Mortem and a Polish reporter from Crimea