Olympia-Washington-based death-doom metal act Mortiferum has finally risen from the depths of darkness. The sophomore “Preserved In Torment” brings the U.S. quartet to the forefront of the top tier of their morbid aural art. The skilled quartet of Max Bowman (vocals, guitars), Charles Slaker (guitars), Tony Wolfe (bass guitar) and Alex Mody (drums, vocals) unleashes a crushing assault on death/doom metal. Since its emergence in 2016, Mortiferum manifested putrid forms of the old school Finnish sound a la Rippikoulu. The band’s debut album “Disgorged from Psychotic Depths” excelled in the plodding cadence which binds the spectral lead guitars, cavernous growls, and the dark brooding atmosphere. Delivering a high standard of craftsmanship, “Preserved In Torment” is supremely enhanced by the crushing drum plows and the guitars exuding an unearthly atmosphere taking the listener to the desolated landscapes of doom.
Right from the opening track “Eternal Procession”, the monstrous bellows wail over the cavernous death/doom metal riffs. A thick murky sound of the guitars sets off into the bowels of the abyss delivering something otherworldly and muddy. Mortiferum‘s approach is quite unmatched when it comes to blending the slower paces with extremely heavy tempos. The rhythm guitar is often dark and dreary, creating a layer of bleak melodies with deep throaty growls steering the pummeling sections. Mortiferum uncovers otherworldly eeriness where the cavernous, primordial, and putrid style of the early Finnish death/doom metal is superbly focused, and the guitars are distinguished by the prowess delivering cavern-like riffs that crawl in the slower sections.
The dense wall of sound of the guitars and the heavy bass tone is brought in perfect mesh, as they create impenetrable layers of filth. “Incubus of Bloodstained Visions” is wrought with skull-crushing blast beats. The drums provide the right amount of double bass wending between stormy tempos, there is a great weight of thrust and brutality which provides titanic riffs and pummeling blast beats. “Preserved In Torment” is full of sepulchral atmosphere, the gloomy mixture of death and doom emphasizes the slow rhythmic passages, whereas the drums on “Seraphic Extinction” plows into the dark and slower pace along the heavy trudge of the churning riffs. The deep ominous growls and the lead guitars add viciousness to the crushing tone of the guitars and the rumbling double bass imbuing the slow tempo with a haunting atmosphere.
The dark mood captivates the album, making it quite dense and unsettling with the thick plodding drums and the guttural growls applying insufferable heaviness. The drums are irrepressible, but the swaggering cadence of lethargic tempos and the slow doom dirges are brought to focus, making it a classic death-doom album. The songwriting is twisted and showcases the shrewd intellect of the quartet and the riffs are wickedly deformed to the grotesque.
“Preserved In Torment” combines the right dynamics, there is a brooding sense of ominousness that engulfs its breadth, the drums plows and crushes the pacing tends to lean on the fundamentals of the doom metal dirges. “Exhumed From Mortal Spheres” begins with pummeling blast beats, each instrument creates menacing and eerie morbidity. The putrid old-school production works wickedly, but above all the emphasis on the crushing riffs has that chunky death metal tone. The towering guitar solo that follows ensures that this track stands as one of the most oppressive tracks on the album.
The spacious atmosphere creates an infinite spectrum with every monolithic guitar riff being struck perfectly. The lead guitars paint an ominous sonic swamp, and mid-way through the track all hell breaks loose when the drums strike furiously. While this element of doom metal sets a bleak tone throughout the album, its creepy mysteriousness adds a morbid quality to the album. “Caudex of Flesh” is heavily sludgy where it begins in slow motion with the crawling guitars devouring everything in its path. The pace then becomes increasingly heavy when the bludgeoning of the titanic drums begins, bringing a full effect of blast beats with the crushing doom-laden riffs segueing into a slow menacing atmosphere.
Giving the album a grandiose closure, “Mephitis Disease” is the band’s most atmospheric track. The lead guitars provide a creepy backdrop of an endless procession drawing you deeper into the gaping void of darkness. The spectral grunts and the trudging drums work as the perfect contrast with the blasting sections played faster. The dense suffocating atmosphere unfurls through the epic length of the song. “Preserved In Torment” is simultaneously macabre and crushing, full of towering leads and nightmarish rhythm but never feels overdone. This comes as highly recommended for fans of Rippikoulu, Krypts, and Spectral Voice.
Release Date: November 5th, 2021
Label: Profound Lore Records
- Eternal Procession
- Incubus of Bloodstained Visions
- Seraphic Extinction
- Exhumed From Mortal Spheres
- Cadex Of Flesh
- Mephitis Disease