Thursday, January 8, 2015

Mortal Decay - The Blueprint for Blood Spatter (2014; Comatose Music)

“Could this head belong to a young adult female…”

Oh Mortal Decay, we have such a love / hate relationship.  Sickening Erotic Fanaticism is one of my favourite records from the 90’s, mixing great death metal riffage with some incredibly heavy breakdowns similar to Suffocation,  all the while keeping things fresh and fun. It was, and still is a great listen, I’d even go as far to call it an underrated classic. But after that, things went downhill fast with Forensic and Cadaver Art, which while competent albums, really did nothing for me in the long run. I had given up on them like so many other acts I’d once loved, and to be honest, I wasn’t too excited when I’d heard about their reunion.  I came into The Blueprint for Blood Spatter quite skeptical to say the least, I thought it would be mediocre at best.  Good god was I ever wrong.

The Blueprint for Blood Splatter is everything I could’ve ever wanted from Mortal Decay, and more, with quite a few surprises that one would not expect from the stereotypical Brutal Death Metal album.  As one would expect, all the Brutal Death Metal stereotypes are here, riff salads, blast beats, slow and punishing breakdowns / slams, and indecipherable vocals, but it’s all used in a fresh and varied way that keeps you interested the entire way through. A lot of thought and care has been put into the compositions here, and it shows.

Instrumentally, everything is on point here. John Hartman (Waking The Cadaver) and Joe Gordon handle guitar duties, and do a bang up job of it. They’ve kept the old school feel while adding in some newer influences (some passages sound like Nile and Decrepit Birth), and even add  in some black metal flavour that not many bands of their ilk would be brave enough to do. Take "Nocuous Compulsions" for example, the beginning riff sounds like something you would hear off an Endstille album, but with a little more crunch and groove added in for good effect. The break halfway in even sounds like something Nightbringer would do.

The low end is just as impressive. Anthony Ipri is impeccable on drums, with punishing blastbeats, fills, and lots of groove. There’s a lot more variety on the kit than one would expect, all the while not being overly flashy or pretentious. Monty Mukerji does a wonderful job on bass as well, and you can even hear the bass (!), which is a rarity in this style. It doesn’t seem like he’s just following what the guitarists do either, he adds his own little fills and what I can only assume are slaps, which adds a bouncy and fun nature to the songs that would otherwise not be there.

But what has to be the icing on the cake is Danny Nelson’s (of Malignancy fame) vocals. He is on top of his game here, utilizing a wide variety of vocal techniques, every one of them as ferocious as the last. "Mourning Euphoria" is a great example of this, with Danny jumping from some pretty impressive, and almost decipherable death growls, into some pretty wet and disgusting gutturals, and even adding in some highs that gave me goosebumps.  His vocal phrasing is impressive as well, with every line he utters fitting in and complimenting the accompanying music perfectly.

I must say I am ecstatic to hear Mortal Decay back with such ferocity, and I gladly admit that I was wrong to ever doubt them.  I implore all of you who are into acts like Suffocation, Devourment, and even older Cannibal Corpse, pick this up as soon as possible. And for the love of god, pick up their back catalogue and give it a thorough listen, you won’t be disappointed.


Frank G said...

Good review

Anonymous said...

Moar pleez.

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